Good communication between landlord and tenant is crucial for a healthy landlord-tenant relationship. The best way to avoid disputes between both parties is to understand each other’s rights and responsibilities.
A landlord is allowed to exercise their rights reasonably and fairly. For repairs, they should be permitted to enter the property as long as they inform the tenant at least 24 hours before their desired date of inspection. If the landlord insists on entering without giving prior notice to the tenant, they will be violating the privacy of the tenant.
The tenant, on the other hand, must honour everything that is stipulated in the tenancy agreement. Rent must be paid on time, damage to the property caused by the tenant must be paid for, and noise must be kept to a minimum so as not to bother the other units.
Landlords are required to keep their property safe and secure for the tenants. All gas safety equipment and certificates must be up-to-date and complete: gas and fire safety ones and Energy Performance Certificates.
The tenant’s deposit should be left untouched as this will be returned at the end of their tenancy agreement, if there are no deductions. This also means the tenancy deposit needs to be protected by law in a Government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.
Tenant’s rights and responsibilities
The landlord is obliged to provide a tenant with a home that is in a good state of repair; that comes with gas and fire safety and Energy Performance Certificates. This ensures the rented property is safe and secure to live in.
The tenant has the right to deny the entry of the landlord and his contractors or workers if they did not send a notification at least 24 hours before the schedule.
Common landlord-tenant disputes
The most common disputes between the landlord and the tenant usually start with one person not wanting to take the responsibility and some communication gaps that can be addressed by merely talking to each other. It’s important to know what these disputes are so landlord responsibilities and tenant rights are properly understood.
- Damage to property
Oftentimes, landlords take too long to respond to the damage report by the tenant that the latter is forced to seek legal help, and even take the matter to court. This often leads to the disrepair being fixed and the tenant receiving compensation. However, it can also sometimes end up with the landlord evicting the tenant in retaliation if they are a private landlord.
- Cleaning and repairs cost
It is important that the tenancy agreement contains a clause for who should take responsibility for paying for the repair of the damages to the property. Repairs that are structural and involve the plumbing, electric wiring, and other similar issues are to be shouldered by the landlord. Improvements and aesthetic changes fall under the tenants’ responsibilities.
- Rent payment
Tenants are required to pay rent on time unless it is stated in the contract that the rent payment schedule is not fixed. If payments are missed, landlords have the authority to evict tenants if they so want, after serving them with a Section 21 notice. Landlords can even file a legal claim , which will almost certainly force tenants to pack their belongings and leave.
- Retaliatory eviction
If they do not respond to tenant requests to repair the structural damage in the rented home and the renter takes the matter to the council or court, the landlord might unjustly evict the tenant as they would find the issue a nuisance. Rogue landlords can do this, illegally, and can be called “revenge eviction”. There are legal protections for tenants against this.
- Unruly tenant behaviour
If the landlord considers their tenants unruly or a nuisance, the renters can be evicted. This is very possible as neighbours would complain about the behaviour, which can be a source of stress for the landlord. If this happens, there is a potential they would rather evict unruly tenants than lose other renters in the building.
How to avoid disputes
Landlords and tenants who understand the Landlord-Tenant Act can have a good working relationship. It would also be beneficial if neither allow their emotions to get in the way. Maintaining a calm demeanour throughout any debate is important. Communicating and trying to reach a compromise before deciding to go to court is ideal.
If you are involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, find someone who can mediate for you. There are property dispute mediators who can help you and your landlord work out your differences. Take images and videos that you can use as proof if your argument is about overlooked disrepair in your home.
If all else fails, you can take your case to court and file it against your landlord. The housing disrepair experts at Disrepair Claim can help you lodge the complaint and get you compensated for all the trouble you went through during your dispute with your landlord.