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10 tips to avoid tenant problems

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Insurance, home care and holiday provider Saga has reported that out of landlords aged 50 and over, 32% have had problems with tenants not paying their rent and 27% have had problems with tenants damaging the property. Our Property Disputes team offers top tips for avoiding problems like these.

It is unclear whether these percentages also apply to landlords under 50, but there are some basic rules that landlords of any age should follow if they want to minimise problems with their tenants.

1.  You do not have to use an agent, but if you do, check that they are members of an appropriate professional body. Rely on recommendations if possible.
2.  If you do not use an agent, take references from previous landlords, employers and consider a credit reference check through an appropriate agency.
3.  Do not let anyone who either cannot supply references or has supplied poor references into the property.
4.  Use a proper, detailed, tenancy agreement and do not let a tenant into the property until they have signed it.
5.  Take an appropriate deposit and protect it within an official Scheme within 30 days. Send the Scheme’s “prescribed information” to the tenant within the same period.
6.  If the tenancy “rolls over” beyond the original fixed period, send the prescribed information to the tenant again.
7.  Check your bank account every month to see if the rent has come in or speak to the tenant if it is late. See a solicitor if the rent does not get paid for a second month.
8.  Inspect the property regularly. Timescales will depend on the type of tenant and the type of property.
9.  Notices to end tenancies are tricky. Get professional advice from a solicitor as if you get the Notice wrong, you will not be able to get your tenant out.
10.  If your tenant refuses to move you will have to make a court application. Again, get proper advice about this.

If you follow these simple rules you should have a much better chance of receiving the rent payments and getting the property back in a reasonable state and condition.

Our Property Disputes team are experienced in dealing with landlord and tenant disputes. If you have a problem a difficult tenant, they can help you with advice from the outset as to how to deal with it, both in practical terms and as to the process that should be followed. Call 0800 923 2070 or email to contact the team.

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