Property to Rent

If you are looking to rent a flat in the UK then you should be aware that there are a number of legal and financial obligations that are required of you and if you are not fully conversant with them (or are too stingy to hire the services of an appropriate professional such as a lawyer or accountant) then you have a long and costly road ahead of you.

One issue you need to be aware of when trying to rent a flat in the UK is the issue of the lease itself. A lease is a legally binding contract between two parties, you the landlord, the tenant who will be living in the rent.

Please be aware that there are a number of different limitations imposed on your ability to draft a lease, and residential leases are governed by a number of Acts of Parliament. Therefore, in the event that you have a contractual term that is incompatible with the provisions of a statutory instrument or directive, the Act of Parliament will always supersede your own terms.

As a landlord you are legally obliged to ensure that the property which is being made available for renting is fit for human habitation, and meets certain minimum standards. At the very least, the property should be wind and waterproof, and must not pose a threat to the health of either tenants or anyone who visits the premises. Should the property fall below this threshold then you may face the rather unpleasant prospect of an investigation from an environmental health officer.

If you are looking to a rent a flat in the UK in the capacity as a tenant, then there are a number of rights that you are automatically afforded by virtue of the law. For example, if you find that your landlord is being abusive, is trying to extort the rent from you with threats of unlawful eviction, is harassing or threatening you in any way, then you maybe able to find assistance in the “Protection from Harassment Act 1997.”

If you rent a flat in the UK and are still having problems with your landlord, then you can always try seeking with a Tenancy Relations Officer of the local authority (your council). All private landlords are required to own a license and so if they breach the rules then sanctions can and will be imposed if the circumstances of the case merit such action.

One issue that you do need to be aware of is that if you are trying to rent a flat in the UK, you will need the express and written consent of your landlord if you are seeking to make any form of alteration or improvement to the property. Please note, that even though the value of the property may increase as a result of you making the changes to the property, you are not legally entitled to a refund for the balance. Nor are you eligible for a rebate on your rent.

However, the landlord is unable to then attempt to raise the rent purely on the grounds of alterations being made.