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Landlords can smooth out disagreements with tenants by offering them a free guide that explains the rights of both sides on issues that provoke upsets.
The guide gives step-by-step answers to some of the most common problems – like what happens to a deposit, deciding who is responsible for paying for damage and repairs and the eviction process.
Drafted by Property Ombudsman Christopher Hamer, the contents reflect the subjects that result in the most complaints that go across his desk.
The Property Ombudsman mediates disputes between landlords and tenants that often result from retaining some or all of a deposit to put right damage or repairs to a rented property once a tenant moves out.
“I see what causes the most complaints when people fall out with landlords and letting agents and quite often it can be over simple misunderstandings,” said Mr Hamer.
“Through these guides I am trying to help consumers be better equipped for dealing with landlords and agents and to be aware of the specific things that they should look out for and where they should perhaps ask more questions so that they fully understand the service being offered.
“Landlords and agents will say things that they themselves understand but perhaps do not take into account that those they are dealing with will not be equally as enlightened.”
Download the guide from the Property Ombudsman web site.
Mr Hamer also added that not all landlords and tenants have a complete understanding of property law, and he hoped the basic information in the guide would iron out some of the wrinkles in their relationship.
“A simple example of misunderstanding for tenants is that the letting agent is working for the person who is their client, normally the landlord. Although they also have a general duty to act fairly to others engaged in the process their contractual duty is to the person who instructs them,” he said.
Several tenant and consumer organisations, including Which?, are backing the guide.
“The guides are a useful introduction for consumers to the world of property transactions and will help them understand the process better,” said Mark McLaren, of Which?
“Which? recognises that consumers need as much information as possible when renting property.”
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