buy-to-let rental contract rental yields

Landlords and tenants need more help and guidance on rights, says report

Issues such as insurance and deposits top the list of most frequently asked questions by landlords according to new survey by Totally Money.

Both landlords and tenants have responded to the survey with some surprising, enlightening and occasionally disturbing results.

“How long does a landlord have to return a deposit?” leads the list of most popular FAQs for landlords, being asked 600 times on average. Coming in at 500 times each are:

“What does landlord insurance cover?”, and “How to become a landlord”

– suggesting that despite uncertain economic times, there is still plenty of interest in renting out property.

The top three questions from tenants were:

“Who can be a guarantor for renting?”

“What can a landlord deduct from my deposit?”

“Can my landlord enter my house when I’m not there?”

The Totally Money research also reveals that lack of knowledge on rights among tenants is at startlingly low levels.  Just 3% of tenants are fully aware of everything a landlord should legally provide them with, and at a more practical, tangible level 67% did not know that landlords are permitted to change locks on a property – provided they have been permitted onto the property by permission or an emergency situation. Some tenants – 11% – believe a landlord is never allowed on a property at all when it is being rented out.

Half of tenants don’t know that landlords can change rent without telling them, while 57% mistakenly believe landlords must fix any problem in a property.

Mark Molony, Head of Brand and Communications at Totally Money said, “Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, knowing your rights and keeping an eye out for warning signs means you’re well prepared in the event of an issue or a dispute.

“We created this study in order to make sure readers had access to clear answers – it can often be tricky to find out the exact information on a problem while renting!”

Landlords have had to deal with a raft of regulatory changes in recent times, and from 1 June 2019 all upfront letting and agency fees charged to tenants will be banned.

With 4.7 million people renting, now, more than ever, is the time for landlords – and tenants – to be fully aware of all rights and issues surrounding the private rented sector.

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