What legal issues should l consider when investing in Residential Property?

Article

14 October, 2008

1. If you are interested in buying a property that is up for auction, firstly, make sure that you obtain the legal pack in advance and get it checked by your solicitor. Secondly, get a survey carried out. It's often easy for someone to offload a property at auction with a defective legal title or structural problems. You may find that bargain you thought you bought is difficult to mortgage or sell on.

2. If you are going to become a landlord for the first time, make sure you are aware of the regulations:

  • Since April 2006, all landlords letting properties to three or more unrelated people require a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence from their local council.
  • Since April 2007 landlords have been required to lodge any deposit paid by the tenant in a deposit protection scheme. There are two types of scheme, insurance based and custodial. All schemes provide a free dispute resolution service.
  • From 1st October 2008 all properties rented from that date require an energy performance certificate (EPC) to be shown to prospective tenants. The certificate is valid for ten years.

3. Make sure that you not only get a tenancy agreement in place, but that you get the right sort to suit your circumstances.

  • There are two types of assured tenancy agreements; an assured tenancy will usually allow the tenant to stay for as long as they want, whereas an assured shorthold tenancy agreement allows you to take back the property at the end of the agreed term or subject to notice.

4. If you need possession of the property or you have problems with the tenants, make sure you obtain legal advice rather than taking matters into your own hands. You don't want to find that by getting it wrong, you are the one being sued!

For more information please contact our residential property solicitors on freephone 0800 689 1358 or by email

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