According to Lawyer Tessa Shepperson a well know authority on Lettings Law for Landlord’s ‘depriving someone of their home is a very serious matter, Judges will expect landlords to follow the proper procedure, have perfect paperwork, and are generally unforgiving if mistakes are made. Note that if a landlord loses his claim he may be ordered to pay his tenants legal costs. This could prove very expensive if the tenant had legal aid.’
Getting ‘perfect paperwork’ is no simple matter and even landlords who have done lettings for years are falling foul of the law. An out of date gas safety certificate, not providing the tenant with a certificate of deposit registration, or a failure to provide the tenant with the government How To Rent Guide (Updated January 2018) can see your case thrown out.
Ellie Bell owner of Dourish and Day Lettings states ‘With the Government How to Rent Guide, landlords need to ensure the updated version of the guidelines is served on their tenants. Landlord’s with out of date PDF copies could easily see their eviction proceedings delayed significantly or thrown out altogether. I know Landlords who are still not serving this, don’t check smoke alarms and aren’t serving prescribed information relating to the tenancy deposit scheme. All of this could realistically mean that their case is significantly delayed potentially costing thousands.’
So what can Dourish and Day offer? The lettings team offer a full tenant documentation package for £200 plus VAT. This includes a full Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, prescribed information for the tenancy deposit scheme, deposit registration if required, smoke alarm test sheets, key sheets, and documentation to serve on the tenant to confirm they have received copies of the Landlord Gas Safety Certificate, Energy Performance Certificate, Legionella Advice leaflet, Smoke Alarm Test Sheet, How To Rent Guide, leaflet and prescribed information for the relevant deposit scheme.
While Dourish and Day have thankfully never had to go to court to remove a tenant, Ellie’s 20 years’ experience in lettings, has taught her that a belt and braces approach is best. ‘We’re happy to help landlords wherever we can. Lettings law can be a minefield and we’ve helped many landlords who’ve let independently with advice on best practice, lettings law and resolved disputes involving their tenants.’