Landlord Legal Advice

Check that prospective tenants can afford to rent the property from you to ensure that rent arrears do not become a problem. Many landlords use a tenant credit referencing service, request details of last 3 years’ residences, employment details, require proof of identity (including passport and driving licence), and sight of their last 3 or 6 months’ bank statements. It is always advisable to obtain a tenant’s date of birth and national insurance number, as this will assist in tracing tenants who disappear without paying their outstanding rent!

A carefully drafted tenancy agreement will set out the obligations of both the landlord and tenants and will provide mechanisms for termination in the event of default. Without such a written agreement, there may be a question at law as to the basis of the tenancy arrangement which can result in difficulties in possession/eviction claims.

Under the Housing Act 2004, all landlords of residential properties making use of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy are required to deal with deposits received in accordance with an authorised scheme for the purpose of safeguarding deposits. If the deposit is not protected in this way, a Court will not grant a Possession Order. This can result in considerable delays, particularly where a section 21 notice is required to bring a tenancy to an end which requires a minimum of two months notice to be provided to the tenant before possession can be ordered by the Court.

If your tenant feels that you have unfairly deducted sums from their deposit at the end of the tenancy, they will be able to submit a claim to an adjudicator. In order to ensure that such claims are not successful, ensure that you prepare a detailed schedule of condition at the outset of the tenancy which includes dated photographs, and then prepare a further schedule when the tenants vacate the premises. Without such evidence, an adjudicator will have difficulty rejecting the tenant’s claim.

If a cheque paid to you by a tenant bounces, there is a relatively straightforward claim which can be made via the County Court once the appropriate notice has been served. There is usually no defence to this claim on the part of the tenant. If this does occur, rather than waiting to receive the monies from your tenant, seek legal advice as soon as possible in order that the appropriate action can be taken.

If one of your obligations as landlord is to collect service charge from your tenants, ensure that the collection of these sums is properly documented and that you can demonstrate how these funds have been used in order to comply with your obligations as landlord under the lease.

These are the two notices which can be served in order to start the procedure of removing tenants. A section 8 notice can only be made on specified grounds, and in some circumstances, only two weeks’ notice must be provided to tenants. A section 21 notice requires two months’ notice to be given, but no grounds are required. Consider carefully which of these notices is appropriate, and ensure that the date provided in a section 21 notice stating when possession is required is correct, or you will not be allowed to rely on the notice in any subsequent possession proceedings.

Make explicit provision in the agreement for what will happen to your tenant’s possessions in the event that they are not removed from the property at the end of the tenancy period, as this will make it easier for you to remove and/or sell these items once the appropriate notice has been served.

As a Landlord you are responsible for providing an EPC for a property which is to be let. The requirement is triggered as soon as a prospective tenant views the property, is provided with written information about it or enters into a contract to let the property (whichever is sooner). A completed EPC lasts for 10 years and the penalty for not providing one for a residential property is £200. If you already have an EPC from when the property was purchased, this can also be used when the property is let. It is also worth noting that for individual dwellings or shared houses, one EPC is required for the whole building but for self contained flats, an EPC is required for each flat. No EPC is currently required for bedsits.

If the property is an HMO then you need to consider the fact that you may require a licence from the Local Authority. HMOs can include bedsits, shared houses, student accommodation, hostels, accommodation for workers and blocks of converted flats. The Local Authority has the power to impose a licence requirement for all HMOs so you should check the requirements in your area. However, if you can answer yes to the following questions it is likely that a Licence will be mandatory:

  • Do you rent out property?
  • Does your property have three or more storeys (including habitable attics or basements)?
  • Does your property have five or more unrelated tenants?
  • Are any of your tenants unrelated to each other?

landlord legal advice
landlord legal advice

Why choose Davis Blank Furniss?

Merit Icon Founded in 1877
Team members icon 60+ experienced employees
Apartment block icon Offices in Manchester & Glossop
Law Scales Full service law firm

Testimonials

Read what our clients have to say...

View All

Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
5 star service

Our Manchester office is rated 5 stars on Google

How can we help?

Get expert legal advice.

If you need any legal advice or assistance with regards to personal or family law, contact the Davis Blank Furniss team now.

Get expert legal advice.

If you need any legal advice or assistance with regards to personal or family law, contact the Davis Blank Furniss team now.








    Manchester Office

    If you need any legal advice or assistance from our Manchester office, contact the Davis Blank Furniss team now.

    Glossop Office

    If you need any legal advice or assistance from our Glossop office, contact the Davis Blank Furniss team now.

    Kate Oldfield

    Kate Oldfield

    Managing Partner
    Martyn Gee

    Martyn Gee

    Partner
    Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan

    Partner
    Richard Hamilton

    Richard Hamilton

    Partner
    Sonio Singh

    Sonio Singh

    Partner
    Susan Bann

    Susan Bann

    Partner
    Andy McNish

    Andy McNish

    Partner
    Shiva Shadi

    Shiva Shadi

    Partner
    Debra Kelly

    Debra Kelly

    Partner
    Kirsty Morbey

    Kirsty Morbey

    Partner
    Jennifer Smith

    Jennifer Smith

    Partner
    Paul Walton

    Paul Walton

    Consultant
    Stuart Shalom

    Stuart Shalom

    Consultant
    Amie Tsang

    Amie Tsang

    Senior Consultant
    Rebecca Taylor

    Rebecca Taylor

    Senior Associate Solicitor
    Danielle Cobb

    Danielle Cobb

    Solicitor
    Lauren Sever

    Lauren Sever

    Associate Solicitor
    Kirsty Fillery

    Kirsty Fillery

    Solicitor
    Claire Birch

    Claire Birch

    Conveyancing
    Joanne Mercer

    Joanne Mercer

    Associate Probate Manager
    Jackie Miller

    Jackie Miller

    Senior Litigator
    Emma Little

    Emma Little

    Conveyancing Paralegal
    Rachel McNeill

    Rachel McNeill

    Senior Litigator
    Rhiannon Turner

    Rhiannon Turner

    Solicitor
    Jessica Ojei Agwaziam

    Jessica Ojei Agwaziam

    Trainee Solicitor