Protecting your investment
As a landlord, your property represents a significant investment, and we recognise the commitment involved in safeguarding your current and future livelihood. If an issue were to arise, a prompt and proactive approach is best to avoid any financial losses or damages you might incur.
Contact our expert landlord solicitors to discuss how we can help you.
what we can help you with
There are a number of ways in which residential landlords can ensure they are protected from tenancy issues. As such, our tenancy solicitors regularly advise on legal matters relating to:
- Tenancy agreements
- Rent deposit
- Tenant eviction, including Section 8 Notices and Section 21 Notices
- The eviction process
It can be all too easy to get lost in the legal complexities involved with letting out property, particularly when disputes with tenants arise. Having a knowledgeable landlord and tenant solicitor on your side can help to keep things running smoothly and provide peace of mind that any issues can be resolved effectively, minimising any impact to you.
Whether it concerns an assured shorthold tenancy or a bespoke agreement, a tenancy agreement will clearly set out your rights and expectations as a landlord as well as those of your tenants. As such, the agreement acts as a contract between the landlord and tenant and should be signed as an indication of acceptance of its terms and a willingness to comply.
Once signed, both parties enter into the agreement and can therefore be held accountable to their rights and responsibilities. If any terms of the tenancy agreement are broken, the breach of contract may mean that the other party are well within their rights to take legal action against the breaching party.
Our experienced landlord and tenant solicitors provide expert guidance on all aspects of tenancy agreements, offering a practical solution to every obstacle. We regularly advise and assist when terms have been breached, helping landlords to safeguard their investment.
Landlords have the right to obtain a rent deposit from tenants as a form of security and protection as the property comes off the market. The deposit should be held throughout the tenancy in a government-backed tenancy scheme and either returned to the tenant at the end of the agreement or withheld to cover any rent arrears or repairs for damages caused by the tenant.
Landlords must protect the tenant’s deposit by placing it in one of three schemes within 30 days of receiving the sum and also provide the tenant with certain prescribed information. The scheme that is to be used must be disclosed to the tenant. If you fail to pay the deposit into a scheme, the tenant could take court action against you to claim compensation. A failure to comply with your obligations could also potentially affect your right to regain possession of the property.
If you are a landlord in need of advice on any matter relating to rent deposits, contact the Smith Partnership team today.
In some cases, a serious dispute with a tenant could result in eviction. In these circumstances, it’s vital that you have fulfilled your duties as the landlord by providing the tenant with all necessary documents and information, upholding the responsibilities outlined in the tenancy agreement as well as any others that are prescribed by law. Failing to do so can significantly delay the eviction process or strip you of your right to evict, posing a significant risk to your investment and livelihood.
Landlords may evict a tenant with the aim of recovering the property through serving a Section 8 Notice or a Section 21 Notice. At Smith Partnership, we offer a fixed fee for drafting and serving either type of notice. Typically, any court fees or fixed legal costs are recoverable from the tenant.
Section 8 Notices
A Section 8 Notice can be served in situations where a tenant has breached their contract and you intend to repossess the property to avoid any further breaches, losses or damages.
Depending on the ground(s) it is served on, a Section 8 Notice can expire on the same day it is served or within a time frame of two months. The most common reason for serving Section 8 Notices is rent arrears, although there are many other valid reasons for doing so.
In order to serve a notice for unpaid rent which relies on a mandatory ground for possession, the tenant must be at least two months in arrears. If the tenant reduces their arrears to less than two months at any time before the matter comes to court, the court can refuse to grant a possession order. Our specialist landlord lawyers can advise you on the right approach to suit your circumstances.
Section 21 Notices
A Section 21 Notice has to give two clear months’ notice and be in a prescribed form. There are also various legal requirements that need to be met. These vary depending on a number of factors – for example, the start date of the tenancy.
A landlord does not have to specify any reason for serving a Section 21 Notice, and usually, no court hearing takes place. Once again, our solicitors can advise on the most suitable approach for you.
In some cases, disagreements relating to a tenancy may lead to a dispute. Whether the property in question is residential or commercial, conflicts between landlords and tenants have become all too common. Issues that may lead to a tenancy dispute include:
- Rent arrears
- Breach of covenant
- Disputes regarding the renewal of a lease
- Possession claims
- Disputes relating to service charges
- Dilapidation claims, for example as a result of damage to the property
If you are a tenant or landlord and are involved in a dispute with regards to a tenancy, don’t hesitate to get in touch to see how we can help.
The eviction process
At Smith Partnership, we aim to make the eviction process as straightforward as possible. We will begin by assessing your situation and advise you on the best path forward. By tailoring our advice to your individual circumstances, we can help recover your property in the most efficient and effective way.
From there, we will draft all necessary letters and notice documents. Our experts will submit the claim to court and draft related court documents using their extensive knowledge and expertise. If a defence is mounted during the process, we will act promptly and provide you with full details on your position as well as any additional costs you may incur.
In the case that court proceedings are issued, our specialists offer expert advice and representation throughout the process. Once a possession order is obtained, our team can guide you through the next steps of recovering your property.
Why choose our landlord and tenant solicitors?
Enlisting the advice of a legal expert is crucial to ensuring your property investment is protected. Having our specialists on board from the very beginning can go a long way in avoiding disputes. If a tenancy dispute does arise, we can work with you to provide a prompt and effective resolution.
With offices in Derby, Leicester, Burton upon Trent, Swadlincote and Stoke-on-Trent, Smith Partnership's landlord and tenant lawyers are always on hand to support and advise you on any property-related matter. Our approach is transparent and straight-talking, helping you to minimise the financial impact a dispute is likely to have.