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Both landlords and tenants have responsibilities that help protect themselves and each other. Just as landlords will have rules about what tenants can/ can’t do to/in the property, there are also rules about what a landlord can/can’t do, even if it is their own property. These rules are to help ensure the tenant can live there without disturbance, as is their right.

If you are new to being a landlord, here are some big no-nos…

You can’t enter the property without notice

You might have a key, but that doesn’t mean you can come and go as you please. In most cases you are required to give at least 24 hours’ notice, also, you should only visit during working hours, unless it is an emergency.

You can’t discriminate against tenants

Landlords cannot discriminate against existing or future tenants. The Fair Housing Act prevents landlords from being able to discriminate due to race, colour, nationality, age, sex, religion, familial status, or disbilities. This means you cannot try to evict an existing tenant if their familial status changes during their tenancy.

You can’t turn off essential utilities

Landlords are not allowed to shut off gas, electricity, air con, water, or heating, even to try to recuperate missed rent. If a tenant is not paying rent the only thing you can do is give them notice to pay or vacate the property.

You can’t increase rent indiscriminately

You can increase rent, however, you can’t randomly increase rent without good reason. The rental agreement you sign is a legally binding contract, so assuming there are no violations, you can’t randomly change the terms.

You can’t refuse to make reasonable repairs

Tenants have a right to live in an inhabitable property; this means you cannot refuse to make reasonable repairs. Some of the things you are obligated to fix include; locks, heating and plumbing, building code violations, hazards, and any major repairs the tenant couldn’t reasonably do themselves.

We’ve been helping landlords and tenants across East London for a great number of years, if you want to know more about your duties as a landlord, get in touch and we can help you.

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