Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law offers this free Advice to Landlords

Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law offers this free Advice to Landlords

9:30 AM, 2nd January 2013, About 11 years ago 2

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Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law is a solicitor specialising in residential landlord and tenant law. Tessa very kindly wrote a series of articles exclusively for readers of Property118.com some time ago. These still serve to be an excellent resource for landlords who find them when searching the internet so we have decided to create one article giving an overview of the various insights shared by Tessa and links back to the full articles. Tessa’s subscription based website is an extremely well regarded legal resource tool amongst the legal profession, property managers and portfolio landlords.

The various and wondrous ways that tenancies end 

When does a tenancy end? Is it:

  • When the tenant moves out?
  • When the tenant hands the keys back?
  • Or when the tenant dies?

You may be surprised to learn that in those three situations above often the tenancy DOESN’T end!  So when does it? read on


What do you do if your tenant won’t leave when their section 21 notice expires?

As you no doubt know, section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 is the section which sets out the procedure under which landlords can evict their tenants at the end of the fixed term, even if the tenants have done nothing wrong.

The system was supposed to be fairly straightforward and simple.  Indeed, if you get it right it IS straight forward and simple.  Unfortunately, a number of unnecessary complexities were incorporated into the legislation, which makes it easy for unwary landlords to make mistakes. read on

I think my tenant has left, can I change the locks?

You need to be very, VERY careful about this.  Once a property has been let to a tenant it is effectively his.  He is entitled to live in it without interference from the landlord.

This is set out in a clause (rather quaintly called the ‘covenant of quiet enjoyment’) which is implied into all tenancy agreements, whether it is set out in the written terms and conditions or not.  Mostly it is.

So the landlord has no right at all to go barging in, whether he thinks the tenant is there or not.  After all a tenant does not HAVE to live in the property if he does not want to.  Also, he could be on holiday, in hospital or in jail.  None of which entitle the landlord to go in and repossess. read on

Help! My tenant has stopped paying rent – what do I do?

Rent is the big problem that worries landlords.  You will probably have expenses to pay such as mortgage repayments, which will fall due whether or not the tenant is paying their rent. read on

How to increase rent the proper way

There are three main methods of increasing rent (please note that I will just be talking about assured shorthold tenancies in this article):

  1. By agreement
  2. By a rent review clause in the tenancy agreement, and
  3. By notice.  read on

Why you need to have the right tenancy agreement for your letting

You need a tenancy agreement, but not just any old tenancy agreement. It should be one that is suitable to your situation. For example:


  • are you a resident landlord?
  • are you renting out a room in a shared house?
  • do you want to have a tenancy where bills are included in the rent?
  • are you happy for your tenant to keep a pet?  read on


Check out your tenants or live to rue the day

If you have a good tenant, someone responsible and honest, then they will ensure that their rent is always paid, and will look after the property carefully.

If you have a bad tenant, then you are very likely to end up out of pocket, and possibly with expensive repair and redecoration work needing to be done when you finally get it back again. read on

Make sure your property is legal before you rent it out

If you let a property in poor condition to your tenants, not only will you get complaints and lower your reputation as a landlord – it is also against the law.

Here is a list of the main legal points you need to know about.   read on

Have you got what it takes to be a landlord?

Often people seem to think that being a landlord  is money for old rope.  “Landlords!  They just sit there doing nothing and collect the money as it comes rolling in!”  That’s the popular view.


Of course it’s not  true!  So what does it take to be a landlord?  And is it something YOU could do?  Here are a few questions for you. read on

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5:37 AM, 22nd May 2013, About 11 years ago

hi, the agency asked me to pay for renewing the contract 448 plus vat. I am the landlord. The existing tenant was found by them last year and the tenant has no credit check or reference and she gets housing benefit but she paid her rent up to date since last year. I am not sure whether to negotiate the renewal fee with them or can I not pay at all this fee. How ever I signed a contract with them to find a new tenent because I taught the tenant was gonno leave did I make a mistake to sign the contract so therefore I have to pay the renewing fee?

Tessa Shepperson

8:05 AM, 22nd May 2013, About 11 years ago

Letting agents often put clauses in their tenancy agreement requiring landlords to pay commission so long as the tenant found by them is in occupation of the property. Presumably your agency contract has this clause, but you need to check.

It is highly likely that even if it is there, the clause is invalid under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 - there was a big case about this in 2010 brought by the OFT against Foxtons.

I wrote a lot about this on my Landlord Law Blog - you will find a summary of the posts here: http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2010/09/28/summary-of-posts-on-the-foxtons-case/

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