Never hand over any money before viewing a property.
Online scams have been uncovered on listings sites
such as Gumtree, with fake landlords asking prospective
tenants to wire across money to secure non-existent
properties. Last year, scammers even pretended to
be members of the National Landlords Association by
using its logo.
can quickly add up if landlords have to pay out for
valid services such as inventories, cleaning, and
renewing contracts, but landlords are warned to keep
their eye on their wallets when paying fairly vague
administration charges to agents that can run into
hundreds of pounds for what can appear to be little
more than photocopying a few contracts and checking
out for agents that try to charge twice for the same
service, such as an inventory, at the beginning and
end of a tenancy. Also be alert for contract renewals
that change the terms of tenancy. Some agents and
landlords may even charge a tenancy renewal fee without
Always ask for a full breakdown of charges from the
agent at the outset and get them or the landlord to
do an inventory, including photos – so the tenant
is only charged for damage that they caused.
the letting or managing agent is registered with ARLA
or NAEA the tenant can lodge complaints if the fee
structure was unclear and/or unfair.
are advised to read the terms and conditions agreed
in the contract. Most tenants are on assured shorthold
tenancies (AST). With this type of tenancy, tenants
can stay in the rental property for a fixed period
such as six months, or on a rolling contract known
as a periodic tenancy.
tenancy can end only if the tenant and landlord agree
to the surrender of the tenancy, if you serve a valid
notice, or if the landlord evicts you. If the tenant
is on a fixed term, they can leave from the date that
term ends, but if they want to leave before the end
of the agreed tenancy, they will be able to do so
if the tenancy agreement says so. If tenants are on
a periodic tenancy, they must give at least one month's
notice in writing.
landlord must give tenants written notice of at least
two months if they want them out. However, under an
AST, it's fairly straightforward for landlords to
evict a tenant, and if there are any rent arrears
or late payments they may be required to give the
tenant only two weeks' notice to leave.
building repairs are the landlord's responsibility,
except in the case of malicious damage. Before a tenant
can move in, the property must be in a fit state;
boilers, sinks and toilets should be in working order
and gas, electrical and fire safety regulations must
the landlord refuses to carry out repairs during a
tenancy, they run the risk of the tenant withholding
rental payments. Tenants are advised not to risk withholding
the rent as it can lead to eviction. Instead, they
are supposed to collect as much evidence against the
landlord as possible. This is not a good situation
for landlords to find themselves in, prompt action
to deal with any damage reports from tenants and good
record keeping can mitigate any false claims made
landlords or their agents fail to protect the tenants
deposit, they may be forced to pay three times the
amount as punishment and all three deposit protection
schemes offer a free dispute resolution service.
Boycott from Shelter explains, "There are still
some landlords out there who are flouting these rules,"
says Kay Boycott of Shelter. "It is vital that
tenants are aware of some of the risks when privately
renting and make sure their deposit is protected when
they enter a tenancy. Increasing numbers of people
priced out of the housing market, coupled with a chronic
shortage of social housing, means that renting is
fast becoming the only option for thousands more people.
Unfortunately, this has led to a minority of rogue
landlords who are taking advantage of this growing
know which Letting Agent to use?
Property Power Team recommend The Castledene Group
as we use them