Managing your tenancy effectively

Once your tenants are in your property there are a number of things to consider to manage the tenancy effectively.

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Coronavirus resources

The below guidance consolidates guidance for landlords in England around the temporary changes made to the law because of coronavirus. Guidance for landlords in Wales is available here. 

Coronavirus - Managing Your Property | Landlord Resources

Last Updated: 16/11/2020

Guidance on managing your property effectively during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus - Minimising Risk To Health | Landlord Resources

Last Updated: 05/11/2020

Resources on minimising risks to health during the coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus - Accessing Financial Support | Landlord Resources

Last Updated: 05/11/2020

Resources on the financial support available to landlords and tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Managements conditions for HMO properties

Houses in Multiple Occupation - Licensing and Management

Last Updated: 10/11/2020

If you are letting out the property to three or more people where at least two of them are unrelated to each other, then you will usually have a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Generally, these types of properties provide higher yields making them an attractive financial proposition. However, in exchange the landlord has to ensure they are complying with far more stringent management duties. 

Providing the details of the landlord

Section 48 & Section 3 Notices

Last Updated: 22/07/2020

There are a number of situations where you may be legally required to provide your tenants with your name and an address. Whether this address needs to be your own home address will depend on the reason why you are providing these details and the legislation that covers it. For example, if you have purchased a new property with tenants in situ you will be required to provide your home address under Section 3 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

Recently purchased a property? Download our Section 3 form

Need to serve a Section 48 notice? Download our template

Access to the property

Accessing The Property During A Tenancy

Last Updated: 27/07/2020

As a general rule, landlords are allowed to inspect the property for repairs provided they give at least 24 hours notice to their tenants. However, there are a number of additional reasons why you or your representatives may want to access the property during a tenancy. For example, you may want to arrange access for viewings. This guide covers your rights to access the properties and your tenants rights of refusal.

Need to access the property? Use our access letter templates.

Increasing rent

Increasing Rent During A Tenancy Agreement

Last Updated: 15/09/2020

The average tenancy last four years in England so at some point during that time you may want to increase the rent to reflect the current market value. There are a number of ways to go about this which this guide covers.

Taking over managing from your agent

Last Updated: 17/11/2020

If you have been using the services of a letting or managing agent, and wish to take over management yourself, there are many factors you will need to consider before making a decision.

This guide will give you an overview of the key considerations, and how to proceed ensuring continued compliance with the relevant legislation. Follow the steps detailed to allow a smooth transition of responsibility and documentation from the agent to you. 

Payment of benefits

Applying For Direct Payments Of Universal Credit

Last Updated: 21/07/2020

This guide explains how and where a landlord can make a request for direct payments through the Universal Credit system and apply for deductions from the tenant's ongoing Universal Credit payments to recover outstanding rent arrears, but only where the tenant continues to live in the property to which the arrears relate. 

Local Housing Allowance Rates 2020

Last Updated: 01/10/2020

As part of their response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has increased the amount of local housing allowance paid to tenants claiming housing benefit or Universal Credit. This page outlines the new rate in your area until March 2021.

Overpayment of Universal Credit and Housing Benefit

Last Updated: 22/10/2020

The National Audit Office estimates that more than one in every ten pounds paid through Universal Credit is paid in error. To recover this, or overpaid housing benefit, the DWP or the local authority can reclaim these overpayments. Often this is done by chasing the landlord, however more often than not the landlord can challenge this on the basis that the tenant was the person at fault for the overpayment.

Universal Credit expert Bill Irvine explains how to challenge overpayments in this guide.

Arrears management

Tenancy Saver Loan

Last Updated: 07/10/2020

As of 7th October 2020, tenants in Wales can apply for a Tenancy Saver Loan. These low interest loans are designed to sustain tenancies for people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Futher information on this, as well as a downloadable factsheet to send to your tenants, is available on this page.

Managing Arrears Effectively | Landlord Resources

Last Updated: 21/08/2020

For many landlords and tenants in the private rented sector (PRS), the coronavirus pandemic has been their first experience of rent arrears. The majority of tenants have always paid their rent on time; less than 1 in 10 private sector tenants go into arrears over a 12-month period.

As the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic bites this is changing rapidly.

This guide is designed to help both landlords and tenants find a way to work through this, giving both peace of mind and the confidence to continue the tenancy for long after the pandemic is over.

Arrears Management Letters | Landlord Resources

Last Updated: 01/12/2020

If your tenant does fall into arrears withoutmaking contact, you will need to contact them to let them know the rent has not been paid. Often this will be a simple oversight on the tenants part so the sooner you can start communicating, the faster the situation will be rectified.

To assist with this the NRLA has produced a number of template letters that you can send to your tenant. This covers everything from a friendly reminder letter to a letter informing the tenant that you be forced to take legal action if they don't pay off the arrears.

Small claims

Making a small claim online (Moneyclaim)

Last Updated: 13/10/2020

The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of the small claims process for landlords. In it, we will discuss the various stages that a landlord is expected to follow, the information they are expected to provide, as well as best practice tips for avoiding ever having to use the small claims process in the first place.

Enforcing a County Court Judgement (CCJ)

Last Updated: 06/07/2020

Even when a landlord is successful in getting a county court judgement (CCJ) against a tenant or guarantor, they do not always comply with the court's instructions. The purpose of this guide is to inform you what options are available should you wish to enforce a judgement, and give you some idea which option is best in which circumstance.

Anti-social behaviour

Dealing With Anti-Social Behaviour

Last Updated: 10/11/2020

Anti-social behaviour can come in many different forms including noise, threatening neighbours, damaging the property itself or neighbouring property or using the property as a brothel. It is one of the most common reasons that landlords serve notices seeking possession and one of the biggest causes of stress to landlords and the neighbours who have to live next to an anti-social tenant.

When Is A Landlord Liable For Nuisance Claims?

Last Updated: 22/07/2020

Nuisance in common law is something that can be defined as a matter which is an unreasonable and substantial interference on the use and enjoyment of a person's property. Common issues that would be considered a nuisance are excess noise, leaks escaping into a neighbouring property and overhanging branches.

Typically landlords are not liable for nuisance, particularly if their tenant is the root cause of it. However, in some cases they may be and this guidance is designed to give you an idea of when this may be the case.

Changing tenants mid-tenancy

Deed of Assignment | Landlord Resources

Last Updated: 28/09/2020

If you are letting a property to joint tenants, particularly young professionals, then at some point one of those tenants may want to leave during the fixed term. If the other tenants are happy to stay in the property and can find a suitable replacement tenant then you can use a deed of assignment to transfer the outgoing tenants interest in the property to their replacement.

Client Money Protection

What is Client Money Protection? | Landlord Resources

Last Updated: 01/12/2020

From 1 April 2019, all letting agents in England have been required to belong to a client money protection scheme when they are holding client money. This requirement is also in place in Wales as part of the Rent Smart Wales licensing conditions.