Landlord and tenant disputes are common and can evolve into something much more serious very quickly. Avoid the hefty legal battle by understanding your rights as a landlord or tenant and seeking legal advice.
A landlord has an obligation to a tenant and vice versa. The terms you agree to are laid out in a tenancy agreement. A breach of the terms by either side can cause a legal dispute.
What are common landlord/tenant disputes?
There are a wide range of landlord/tenant matters that can crop up during a tenancy including:
- Service charge disputes
- Maintenance costs
- Early termination of lease
- Management of the property
- Damage to the property
- Failure to pay rent/bills
- Breach of agreement
- Urgent repairs
There is often a grey area when it comes to the rights of landlords and tenants. The most popular concern amongst tenants is how much power the landlord holds over the property. For example, tenants may be unaware that the landlord has no right to enter the property without the tenant’s permission.
Whilst the landlord ultimately owns the property it is the tenant’s right to live in ‘quiet enjoyment’. The only time the landlord or a representative has the right to enter a property is if they are to carry out reasonable repairs and even then, they must give the tenant 24 hours notice. The tenant must then also grant access.
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 ensures that the landlord is responsible for making the property fit for purpose. A landlord must do things like keep the property in good repair, take action to prevent damp, ensure adequate ventilation and more.
Similarly, the tenant must also abide by the rules. If the tenant breaches the contract in any way, the landlord has the right to serve an eviction notice.
There are always ways to prevent legal action in a landlord/tenant dispute. Dialogue is a clear and simple way to deal with the situation as well as formal communication but a legal approach may be exactly what’s needed in tough circumstances.