Legal Issues That Could Arise When Renting A Property

by Jack Zeek on June 17, 2013

  • Sumo

For many, signing on the dotted line for your first rental property is a key turning point of your life: having spent years relying on Mum and Dad for food, heating and a bed, you’ve finally made the decision to go it alone.

Personally, I remember it well. I spent days scouring the estate agents in Leicester, before finally agreeing on a property and signing on the dotted line.

I got lucky – in my first property at least, I had a great landlord who dealt with issues promptly and professionally. But what if you’re not so lucky? What if you have issues that go unresolved, and you need to take legal advice?

There are numerous legal issues that can arise when you’re a tenant – usually it is because a landlord refuses to carry out essential repairs, such as damp repair or replacing a boiler. Often the landlord will carry out the repair, but will take so long to do it that the situation becomes desperate for the tenants.

And sometimes the landlord, who may well be under financial pressure themselves, carries out a repair themselves and does the job so badly that they need doing again.

Don’t think that you can simply pay for and arrange repairs to be carried out yourself and then deduct costs from your rent. You’ll be liable to repair any badly carried-out work, and will continue to be liable to pay rent – it could be a lose-lose situation for you and will only make things worse.

It is essential for tenants to seek advice. The charity Shelter offer free legal advice to tenants who are in dispute with their landlords, and can help you with the legal process from day one, right the way through to judgement.

It is important that, whatever the issue is, you collect lots of evidence that can be used to support your argument. Take lots of photographs all the way through the process, before and after repairs, and keep a file of all communication between yourself and the landlord.

Whatever you do, don’t decide to stop paying rent, thinking it will help speed up the process. You signed a contract when you moved into the property and as such must keep up rent payments, otherwise you’re seriously in risk of eviction.

Jack Zeek
Jack Zeek - Marketing coordinator for Martin & Co Leicester franchise
Jack Zeek

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