All contracts for letting your property are most definitely not the same!!
Property is probably one of your biggest assets and you should ensure anyone who has anything to do with it respects this. This includes agents who act for you and anyone who you accept to live in it.
Our Assured Shorthold and out of the Housing Act contracts are not off-shelf ones you will find in supermarkets or stationers. They have evolved gradually and had a huge shake-up with the Office of Fair Trading guidelines on unfair contracts that came out last year. They were were amended again to incorporate the deposit scheme that became law this year to safeguard deposits.
Having used the correct contract makes it much easier to evict tenants if anything goes wrong or if you need your property back. Many people make the mistake of assuming they are all the same but actually they are not. For example if the landlord lives and shares the facilities you cannot use an Assured Shorthold Contract which is now the default one should there not be a written one in place.
For the Assured Shorthold you actually don't even need a written on in place but think you would be very foolish not to take the opportunity to lay out the guidelines of what you are expecting or it could cause problems and conflict later.
Notices should be served in accordance with the agreement and Landlords must give their Tenants at least two (2) months notice towards the end of the Term agreed if they wish them to leave. They must not however serve it at the beginning of the contract or worse still, before they have started it as it will be deemed invalid by a court. If you are going to renew your tenants contracts there is no need to serve a Notice.
Good Agents provide lots of other services such as credit and reference checking, as well as having tenants continuously contacting them for property. It is madness to allow people access to assets worth so much without checking them out. It is sad to say but there are people out there who will take whatever they can - at your expense - and having to go to court to evict tenants is an expense you don't really want to experience. It's an offsetable expense isn't the idea to make a profit not huge losses?
With the increase in people Buying to Let and using it as an alternative pension is makes sense to check and get it right.
Amanda Hill Property Services also provide
Credit and reference checking
Lettings and Management
Independent Financial Adviser
Energy Efficiency Reports
Tenancy Deposit Services
We are based in London, E18 and cover surrounding areas
Please feel free to email amanda @amandahill.co.uk if you have any questions
Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements to Let Property
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31 July 2007
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