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Residential Lettings: The Complete Guide

Tessa Shepperson

Residential Letting Guide cover image
'A must-read for every landlord, whether novice or expert' - National Landlords Association.

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Available Formats

Valid in England, Wales, Scotland
Price: £13.99
Page Length: 192
ISBN: 9781910143292
Edition: 12th
Valid in England, Wales, Scotland
Price: £13.99
Page Length: 192
ISBN: 9781910143308
Edition: 12th
File Type: PDF
File Size: 879 KB

Residential Lettings is the definitive guide to creating and managing residential lettings.

It's packed with real-life landlord and tenancy tips and letting experiences, and has been written by one of the country's top specialists in landlord and tenant law, Tessa Shepperson.

This bestselling Landlord's Bible is now in it's twelfth edition for 2015 and provides all the latest up-to-date information on landlord regulations, plus plenty of tips that a landlord needs.

Step by step this expert guide takes you through each one of the legal and practical issues that each landlord must confront, for every tenancy:

  • How to prepare your rental property for tenants
  • Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
  • How to find the right tenant for you
  • The terms you need in a tenancy agreement
  • What to do with your tenant deposits
  • Collecting and increasing rent
  • Landlord duties to repair and maintain the rental property
  • How to renew a tenancy
  • How to evict problem tenants
  • What to do at the end of a tenancy

Plus the book gives you plenty of sound, practical advice and real-life examples along the way.

  • So what exactly does it mean to be a landlord?
  • What are your rights as a landlord?
  • What can your tenants do? And what can't your tenants do?
  • And what can you do about it?

Residential Lettings will tell you exactly what the legal obligations are that you are taking on under a tenancy agreement and talk you through your legal responsibilities. Landlords are subject to a plethora of regulations, and ignorance is no excuse under the law. 

About the Author

Tessa Shepperson is a specialist lettings lawyer, author and lecturer, well known as an expert in her field. She is also the author of Taking in a Lodger - An Essential Legal Guide and  The Essential Landlord's Guide to Tenants’ Rights, also published by Lawpack.

Residential Lettings: The Complete Guide

Landlord and Tenancy Contents

1. The legal framework: landlords and the law

  • Licences and tenancies
  • Lettings which can either be a tenancy or a licence
  • Resident landlords
  • New tenancies today
  • Other legal matters landlords need to know 
    • Fixed-term and periodic tenancies
    • Section 20 notices
    • Guarantees
    • Joint and several liability
    • Letting your own home
    • Premiums
    • Succession rights
    • Eviction of tenants and eviction notices

2. Initial considerations for landlords

  • ‘Location, location, location’
  • What is your intended type of tenant?
  • Building or other work
  • Fixtures and fittings/furniture
  • The availability of grants
  • Furnished or unfurnished?
  • Achievable rent/financial considerations
  • Tenant default 
  • Buying properties with existing tenants
  • Local authority assistance
  • Landlords’ associations
  • Landlord forums

3. Preparation of the property for tenancy

  • Permission for letting
  • Planning permission
  • Renovations and repairs
    • Local authority powers
    • Building regulations 
    • Heating 
    • Condensation and damp
  • Gas and electricity regulations 
  • Fire safety, water and energy efficiency 
  • Fitting out the rental property
  • Product safety regulations
    • Furniture and furnishings
    • Electrical equipment
    • The General Product Safety Regulations
  • Disabled tenants 
  • Smoking 
  • Insurance 
  • Rent
  • Accreditation

4. Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

  • What is an HMO?
    • Households
    • HMO exceptions
  • HMO licensing
    • Scotland
    • How to work out how many storeys there are
    • Temporary Exemption Notices (‘TENs’)
    • Criteria for granting an HMO licence
    • Amenity standards
    • HMO fees 
    • HMO penalties
  • The management of HMOs
    • HMO tenants

5. Finding a tenant: tenant checks and tenant verification

  • Letting agents
  • Advertising for tenants
  • Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
  • The paramount importance of a good tenant
    • Tenant referencing
    • Credit reference agencies
  • Housing Benefit tenants
    • Housing Benefit claw-back
    • Local Housing Allowance
    • 'Bedroom tax'
    • Working with the Benefit Office
    • Valuation of benefit

6. The tenancy agreement

  • Why and when is a tenancy agreement necessary?
  • The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999
  • Individual terms you will need in the tenancy agreement
    • Essential tenancy terms
  • Obtaining tenancy agreements
  • Tenancy information packs – Scotland
  • Housing law reform
  • Completed example of Lawpack's tenancy agreement

7. Tenancy deposits

  • Deposits where the schemes don't apply
    • The tenancy agreement
    • Fair wear and tear
    • Dealing with deposits and at the end of the tenancy
  • Taking a deposit subject to the statutory tenancy deposit schemes 
    • Which tenancy deposit scheme should you use? 
    • How the tenancy deposit schemes work
    • Problems with the regulations
    • Dealing with adjudication
  • Deposit protection in Scotland
  • Avoiding the tenancy deposit schemes 
    • Penalties for non-compliance

8. During the tenancy

  • The covenant of quiet enjoyment
  • Rent matters
    • The rent book
    • Collecting and increasing the rent 
    • Challenges to the rent – the Residential Property Tribunal 
  • Repairing duties/access 
    • HMO properties
  • Housing Benefit 
  • New tenancy agreements 
  • Tax considerations 
    • Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and VAT

9. Problem tenants and tenant eviction

  • Landlord's duty to other tenants
  • Gas safety
  • Harassment legislation 
  • Evicting tenants 
    • Grounds for possession 
    • Eviction notices 
    • Possession proceedings 
    • Evicting Rent Act tenants 
    • Common law tenancies 
    • Squatters and licensees 
    • Enforcement of possession orders 
  • Excluded tenancies or licences 
  • Money claims 
    • Notes on dilapidations claims

10. At the end of a tenancy

  • When does the tenancy end?
  • Handover procedure 
    • Tenant’s property left behind 
    • Death of a tenant 
  • After the tenant has gone 
    • Utilities and post

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