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Newbie Landlord looking for helpful tips and general advice and the basics


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Hi All,

I am a newbie landlord trying to get some basic understanding and thought I would post for some help.  I have a few manuals some incredibly long to read at some point but I have a tenant moving in soon so just wanted to quickly pick up any tips and advice from those that are experienced in these matters.

My questions are as follows:

1.      Assured Short Hold Tenancy Agreement – I am planning on going for a 6 month AST.  I am not sure what happens at the end, do I need to write another one out if the same tenant stays on?  I want to stay strictly within the law at all times and don’t want anything or mistakes to invalidate my insurance so would like to know what landlords generally do?

2.      Notice to quit should it be necessary, I believe its 2 months with a 6 month AST?  Is this correct?  What notice does the tenant need to give?

3.      The actual AST.  I am going to use the one I found on .gov.uk website because I like the explanation notes throughout it for both the landlord and tenant.  I have had a skim read of this but could not see anywhere to add your own ‘house rules’.  Can these be added, or do we need to mention an appendix and add them in there? What tips and advice can everyone give regarding this?  I know legally the tenant has the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ but what exactly does this mean from a legal perspective.  I just want to clearly state within the tenancy agreement things like making sure the flat is properly ventilated (I think that is referred to in the one I have downloaded), no smoking policy, no pets, no wild parties (lol) and anything else I think might be a problem.  Can we just list our do’s and don’ts or does any of these put us in danger of making the AST not legally binding, I don’t want to do something and then find my AST would not stand up in a court of law because I did this or that, so I am really looking for the idiots guide to getting it right and staying on the right side of the law.  Obviously I don’t want to be paying legal fees either before or after, hence I am asking for those experienced landlords for the benefit of their knowledge.

4.       I am aware of the Rent to Rent legal obligation so will be drafting something up for the tenant to sign and taking a photo of their passport.

5.       I am also aware of the Rent Deposit Scheme and will be doing this within the 30 days as I have already had this, does anyone have any advice on this not sure whether to pay the small fee and retain it or not?  Just thinking its best to have it if you had any disputes at the end of the tenancy what do people think?

6.       I have already used a third party and had the tenant referenced and credit checked and all looks good, am I missing anything?

Many thanks all.


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4 hours ago, TonyHSFC said:


Wow you are a brave man doing it all yourself for the first time. I agree with RL  you would be best letting a agent manage your first tenancy until you familiar yourself with the whole process or at least use them to set the tenancy up. But saying that it is possible to do what you are doing but your learn curve will be huge.

Now in answer to your questions:

1. You do not need to do anything once the fixed term ends on the tenancy as it will automatically become a statutory periodic tenancy which means it carry's on, on a month to month basis under all the same terms within the original contract. But you will need to check with whatever deposit scheme you are using as I believe with some you have to notify them and change the status of the tenancy with them.

2."Notice to quit" is the wrong term to use as that is what is used for a common law tenancy. You are using a housing act tenancy (Assured Shorthold) so you would use either a section 21 or Section 8 notice. There are certain proceedures, timescales and documents needed to be in place and proven to be given to the tenant before serving one of them on your tenant. The tenant officially doesnt need to give any notice if they move out on the last day of the fixed term but that is very rare and they will normally give you prior warning. If the tenancy has gone periodic (month to month) the tenant only needs to give one months notice.

3.Remember you can put as many rules as you like in the tenancy but enforcing them is another story. If you put in one that was questionable or classed as a "unfair term" it doesnt make the whole contact invalid it just makes that clause invalid. But saying that it is a skill to write your own clauses and it is very easy to get it wrong or for it to contradict a valid (other) clause. Quite enjoyment is a general term and as long as you are not letting yourself into to the property without permission or calling them excessively you should be ok. You say you dont want to pay legal fees "before or after" so you are relying on "advice" on a public forum to look after valuable  asset worth thousands. That isn't the most sensible decision.   

4. ok

5. I use both a custodial and insurance based deposit schemes and would say it is far better to pay the fee to be able to hold the deposit yourself rather than send it off to a third party.

What are your plans regarding a inventory,

It is a good idea to get the tenant to sign a doc stating that if they have to claim LHA or UC they give permission for the claim to be discussed in full with the landlord.


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Are you planning to take out rent guarantee insurance or will you ask for a home owning guarantor ? 

Make sure you carry out all of the extra admin' requirements introduced in October  2015.

Do you have an accountant ? or will you be dealing with your own taxes. Are you aware of what tax records you need to keep, what you can claim for and the differences between revenue and capital expenses? Are you aware of what you can and can't  claim for prior to the first let of your property ?

Do you have your mortgage lenders permission ?

Good luck

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