Creating a Better Landlord and Tenant Relationship

by donnareflect on February 23, 2014

  • Sumo

Whilst there has always been a focus on protection for landlords when it comes to solicitors in Kent, it can be all too easy to forget about tenant’s rights too. Tenants have had a number of worrying developments to consider over the last few years, from rising rents to the controversial bedroom tax. Recent reports have uncovered various stories about bogus landlords engaging in fraudulent practices too and an increasing amount of flat owners are now looking into collective enfranchisement to buy the freehold from the landlord to reduce the costs of maintenance.

Dealing with Disputes

Tenant solicitors Kent are able to help with a variety of scenarios, from unfair charges to unregistered deposits and illegal evictions. Many tenants regularly approach landlords when their homes have moved into a state of disrepair, making continuing to live in them unsafe. Security deposits can be very difficult to reclaim too. If you’re trying to identify advisers who are have a wealth of knowledge in handling all the above kinds of cases and more, it pays to shop around to find someone who fits the bill. It should be relatively easy to find solicitors in Canterbury that have years of property experience behind them.

Is Your Deposit Registered?

If landlords fail to adhere to their duties, accidents can occur. The longer something is left in a state of disrepair, the greater the likelihood of an accident becomes. A reputable solicitor will always be able to give you accurate and up-to-date advice on whether you have a serious claim or not before you take further action. Landlords have been obliged to register deposits with the Deposit Protection Service for a number of years now, yet many still fail to do so. If your landlord is found to have failed to register your deposit, you can expect to be compensated for as much as three times of the value of the deposit.

New Scandals Unearthed

Some fraudsters have even attempted to rent out property that doesn’t belong to them. Although these cases are rare, they remain on the rise. Whilst landlords and agents have certain tools available that enable them to vet tenants, checking up on the reputation or history of a landlord can be tougher. If you’re renting outside of an agency this can be tough, but you should expect an agency to have stringently vetted any landlord on their books. This explains why it can be much safer to rent via an agency.

Use an Inventory

Agreeing an inventory when you move into a new home is always a wise move as it can make it much easier to solve disputes after your tenancy comes to an end. Many tenants have been accused of causing damage that was already in place before they moved in but have been unable to prove that they weren’t the culprits. Taking as many photos as is necessary can also help to ensure that you get your deposit back. There are also things that you must do in order to meet your obligations as a tenant such as allowing your landlord to enter the property to carry out inspection or repairs as well as taking reasonable steps to maintain the property such as keeping it clean, paying for damage caused by you or your guests and always paying your rent on time. If you stick to your side of the bargain, but your landlord doesn’t it may be time to find solicitors for further help and advice.

Flat owners

For flat owners that still have to pay their landlord maintenance fees on an annual basis, sometimes monthly, an increasing amount of people are completing a process known as collective enfranchisement. A flat owner can take control of this action immediately unlike the right to extent a  lease where flat owners have owned the property for a two year period.

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