New factsheets for Tenants and Landlords to clarify rights and responsibilities

In a move designed to strengthen tenants’ and landlords’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities, Housing Minister Grant Shapps has published helpful advice aimed at those letting or renting a property.

The Minister said that too often, unnecessary disputes between those renting and letting a property were caused by misunderstandings that could be prevented by having access to better information on the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords.

In order to help, the Government has published three easy-to-understand factsheets offering helpful advice on different aspects of letting and renting out a home. These are:

  • Dos and Don’ts factsheet for landlords

giving advice on securing a suitable letting agent, the need for written agreements and inventory’s, and protecting tenant’s deposits.

  • Dos and Don’ts factsheet for tenants

giving top tips to on the legal requirements of renting, how to deal with disputes and what to expect from your landlord.

  • Gaining possession factsheet

to help landlords decide which route to follow when they need to take back their property, how much notice they must give the tenant and guidance on the procedures which can be used to help speed up the process.

The Government also announced their backing for a new industry-led campaign launched this month, aimed at addressing a key area of concern tenants and landlords alike have in dealing with letting agents – making sure their money is safe. Many of those involved in the private rented sector often worry about what protection is available if an agent were to go out of business or, in extreme cases, abscond with their rent and deposits.

SAFEagent, set up and managed by the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), have introduced a new kitemark that will allow landlords and tenants to identify agents who are members of a Client Money Protection insurance scheme, and to vote with their feet when looking to let or rent a property.

Grant Shapps stated:
“The private rented sector provides a valuable source of accommodation for over three million people in England, and the vast majority of them are happy with the service they receive. That’s why I have promised not to wrap the sector in red tape, but to instead work with the industry to help them develop their own plans to tackle those bad landlords, and with councils to throw the book at those who don’t live up to their responsibilities.

“Tenants have a right to expect good quality safe accommodation when they rent a property, and equally landlords are right to expect that the property is looked after, that problems are reported to them quickly and that rent is paid on time. These factsheets are the starting point for those looking to rent or let a property, or for those landlords and tenants looking to resolve any misunderstandings that may arise. I would encourage all those in the private rented sector to read through them carefully and understand their own rights and responsibilities.”
03/09/11

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