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Managing your rented property

Renting your property can be a complex legal area. There is no single piece of law that covers private rented housing. This page and the Maintaining good standards in your rented property​ page can help you with advice, guidance and sources of further information to help you maintain and manage your property and tenancies to a professional standard.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
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​In addition to the advice provided on these pages you are encouraged to become a member of a professional landlord body, such as the National Landlords Association or Residential Landlords Association.

Other landlords groups are also available and Newham Council does not endorse membership of any one over the other. Being a member of such an organisation gives you access to professional advice and guidance that you may find invaluable. 

Renting your property has three major aspects to it: 
  • ​​Starting  a tenancy - pre tenancy checks
  • Tenancy management (including property maintenance)
  • Ending a tenancy.
The Maintaining good standards in your rented property page has detailed information on the second aspect.
 
 

Starting a tenancy

Pre-tenancy checks are for you to satisfy yourself that your prospective tenant is suitable. This will involve credit checks, obtaining references and agreeing the contract that will be signed between you and your tenant; commonly an assured shorthold tenancy agreement (an AST).

You will also need to check the immigration status of the prospective tenant under Right to Rent rules:
Once these checks have been satisfied if a deposit is being taken then this will have to be protected in one of the three Government deposit schemes.
If you do not protect a deposit you will not be allowed to use the section 21 notice to quit process. Your tenants can claim up to three times the value of the deposit if it is left unprotected.

You will also have to provide other paperwork to your tenant at the beginning of their tenancy, including:
  • an Energy Performance Certificate
  • Deposit Protection information
  • a current gas safety certificate
  • a copy of the property licence.
​The Government's How to rent guide​
​Failure to provide the information at the start of the tenancy could make evicting your tenants more difficult later on, as you will not be able to issue a section 21 notice to quit if you haven’t issued these documents.
The Government's ​How to let guide
 
 

During a tenancy

After your new tenants have moved in you will have to carry out periodic checks. The frequency of these checks will vary with the type of tenants (e.g. a single person, couple, family or house in multiple occupation (HMO) with different households in different rooms).   

When you carry out these checks you should keep a written record as, not only will it enable you to demonstrate that you are properly managing your property, it can also be useful at identifying problems before they get too serious or become costly to fix.

The Maintaining good standards in your rented property page has much more information about some of the technical and legal issues when renting out your property.

 
 

​Ending a tenancy

Ending a tenancy can only be carried out by following a set procedure in law. 

It is crucial that you follow the correct procedure otherwise it is highly likely that any attempt will be disregarded by the courts leaving you in the same position that you started in.  

Any attempt to remove tenants or their belongings without following the correct legal eviction process (called ‘possession proceedings’) can be considered as an attempted illegal eviction, the penalty of which can be a custodial (prison) sentence.  

It is therefore absolutely crucial that if you want to end a tenancy that you first seek proper legal advice on the exact steps that you need to take. 

You should also note that you will not be allowed to use the section 21 notice to quit process if your property requires a property licence but does not have one (or a full application has not been made, including where payment has not been made).  
See our Rented property licensing page for more information 
As with any aspect of housing law this web page is just a guide and is not meant to substitute proper legal advice. You are strongly advised to speak to a solicitor with knowledge of housing law if you need to take action on these issues.

The following section has links, which may be helpful or you can search for local solicitors in your local phone book or carry out a web search.
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