The Answers to Your Legal Queries re tenancies

27 07 2015

Good Afternoon,

Hope you all had a nice weekend despite the rainy Sunday 😦

Our Legal Team has received numerous calls from Landlords and Tenants asking for advice on specific situations. Here are some Q&A that you may find interesting/useful too.

 

Q. Must a rent increase be in writing?

A. Yes if you want to guarantee enforce-ability and not have any arguments when the increased rent is demanded. You can do rent increases several different ways but the two simplest are an annual increase for longer dated tenancies, usually 2 years or longer, and for certain in any non AST cases.

Or in ASTs once the tenancy has gone periodic you can serve a S13 (2) notice under the 1988 Housing Act giving the tenant one month (or period of the rent if greater) notice of intended increase on the next rent due date after the notice has matured.

 

Q. What exactly is a Guarantor liable for beyond the obvious? For example is the Guarantor liable if the tenant does not pay their utility bills?

A. Basically the guarantor is responsible for everything the tenant is in relation to their obligations under the tenancy. In simple terms, the guarantor is like an additional tenant but not in occupancy.
In terms of the utility bills, the guarantor would not have any obligations to pay those bills as the tenant’s obligation is to register with the utility companies and pay the charges. If the tenant’s failure to do so somehow resulted in a liability for the landlord then they could seek redress against the Guarantor but that would be unlikely.

 

Q. Are landlords allowed to say no to an application because they have a child and don’t want children in their property or is it discrimination?

A. Landlords can choose whoever they want to as tenants and will only be discriminating if they beak a Statue which states an act is discrimination. In housing terms this means sex, race or disability as per the Equalities Act 2010 so refusing children, or students, or LHA tenants is not yet discrimination. Neither is age, not in housing.

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