Landlord solicitors

As a landlord you need to comply with a labyrinth of ever-changing legislation and a multitude of legal obligations. Our specialist solicitors can help you to establish a positive landlord and tenant relationship from the outset by drafting a watertight tenancy agreement.

Landlord services

We will support you to manage your property by advising you on every aspect of your investment from deposit protection to breach of tenancy and eviction.

Draft tenancy agreements

A tenancy agreement sets out both a landlord and a tenant’s responsibilities and rights. A properly prepared agreement drafted by an experienced solicitor reduces the risk of disputes later.

When drafting an agreement, we will talk to you about including the following:

  • Reasonable restrictions. Do you want to prevent your tenant from smoking, keeping pets, redecorating the property, playing loud music etc.?
  • Rent and service charge details. How much will you charge? How often will you increase the rent? Will there be penalties for late payment?
  • Bills. Who will pay the bills and council tax?
  • Deposits. How much deposit will you ask for? If the annual rent is less than £50,000, you cannot ask the tenant to pay more than five weeks’ rent as a deposit.
  • Fixtures and fittings. Consider including an inventory of fixtures and fittings as part of a record of the property’s condition at the beginning of the tenancy.
  • Access. How often will you access the property? You must normally give a tenant 24 hours’ notice before visiting.

Under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, you have a duty to make sure your property remains safe, in good repair and fit for human habitation. Your tenant is responsible for the daily maintenance of the property. The agreement will specify each party’s responsibilities in detail to reduce the chance of misunderstandings.

Housing disrepair

Housing disrepair refers to a rented property that needs repairs before it is fit for tenants to live in. Legally you must make sure your property:

  • Is structurally safe
  • Free from damp and mould
  • Has clear gutters
  • Has safe and accessible heating, water, electricity and gas.
  • Has adequate toilets, basins, sinks and other sanitation facilities
  • Is free from insect infestations and vermin.

It is the tenant’s responsibility to notify you if there are any problems. By law, you must then act within a ‘reasonable’ period of time. Acting quickly is the best way to avoid a housing disrepair claim being brought against you by the tenant.

If a housing disrepair claim is being brought against you, contact our experienced solicitors as soon as possible.

Deposit protection

By law, you must place your tenant’s deposit money in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP) within 30 days of receiving it.

There are three schemes for you to choose from Mydeposits, Tenancy Deposit Scheme and Deposit Protect Service.

These schemes ensure tenants get their money back at the end of the tenancy, as long as they have not breached the terms of the tenancy. If you are in dispute with your tenant, the scheme will hold the deposit until the issue is settled.

Right to manage

Under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, leasehold property owners can apply for the Right to Manage (RTM) a property. This means they can make themselves responsible for managing the service charge, looking after communal areas and the structure of the building, and more.

Leaseholders qualify for RTM if the building is made up of flats. There are more eligibility criteria – your solicitor can advise you. As a landlord, you can accept an RTM claim or dispute it. You can only dispute the claim if you have strong legal grounds to do so.

If you have received an RTM notice, it is essential to talk to a solicitor as soon as possible. You only have one month to produce a counter-notice to the claim. Otherwise, you are presumed to have accepted the leaseholders’ right to manage.

Have a question or need some help?

Davisons solicitors for landlords

At Davisons, our experienced solicitors support private landlords with a comprehensive service that covers every aspect of their business, from drafting tenancy agreements to expert legal advice about tenant evictions. You can trust us to make sure you meet all your legal obligations throughout the duration of the tenancy. At the same time, we will provide you with the high-quality advice you need to protect your investment both now and in the future.

Whether you are a new landlord or have a large property portfolio, we are here for you.

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  • Where and when you need us

    Local offices and dedicated people who are accessible, friendly and here to help.
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  • No1 property lawyers

    Across the West Midlands. Helping over 15,000 people move last year.

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