Members Advice Line
Landlord Advice – Direct access to practising housing lawyers
Landlord Advice Line operated by the BLA gives members direct access to practising housing lawyers who offer members expert advice in housing law.
Our legal team can help residential landlords & commercial landlords with any issue regarding all types of tenancy agreements or leases.
Recent research has shown that our members have voted our Landlord Advice Line as one of their most valued benefits. The landlord advice line is accessible to all members of the BLA.
Landlord law can be a complex area of law for private and corporate landlords. Please ring us or complete the form below.
Legal Advice line Inquiries include:
1. What is the process of evicting a bad tenant?
If you have grounds to evict a tenant, you can start the eviction process by serving a Section 8 or 21 notice on your tenant. Once the notice has expired, you can consider going to court to claim vacant possession of your property. The grounds for serving a Section 8 eviction notice are set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988, as amended by the Housing Act 1996.
The usual reasons for evicting a tenant are rent arrears. If you are successful in court, the court generally will award you a 14-day possession order. Should your tenant not vacate after 14 days, you must instruct a county court bailiff to evict your tenant physically. If you’re a member of The BLA, ring our Landlord Helpline for free advice.
2. Tenancy deposit protection issue?
Your tenancy deposit protection scheme offers a free dispute resolution service for residential properties subject to an assured shorthold tenancy. You can use this if you disagree with your tenant about the deposit.
Landlords who fail to protect the tenant’s deposit, or give the prescribed information to the tenant within 30 days of receipt, will be liable to pay the tenant compensation. The compensation is between 1 and 3 times the deposit as a financial penalty, and the court can order the landlord to return the deposit too.
Having an inventory before letting a property and obtaining a check-out report is crucial to utilise the correct process of dealing with the tenant’s deposit.
3. A student tenant wants to swap with another student. Can I do this?
You must first check your contract to see if a clause allows you to do this. If the parties have signed a fixed-term agreement with no such clause, you will need to seek legal advice on dealing with this. Members can use The BLA free landlord advice helpline.
4. Question on creating a new tenancy?
We can give you legal advice on any tenancy matter. It is a good idea to use tenancy application forms. You can download a tenancy application form from our download section. You must register before accessing the member’s area if you are not a member. Membership with the British Landlords Association is £69.95 per year.
5. I want to let my property. Do I need to tell my lender?
In a nutshell, No! You must tell your lender to avoid being in breach of the conditions of the mortgage contract.
Lenders are active in combing for properties which have been advertised, on the rental market, without consent.
If you wish to let to a third party, a ‘consent for lease’ is required, which can be obtained by applying to the lender. Because of this, you should inform your lender if you wish to let your property.
6. How do I know what rent to charge my tenant?
Check on Rightmove and Zoopla and speak to your local estate agents. By doing this, you will have a good idea of the rental value of your property.
7. What happens to my tenant’s deposit?
You are required, by law, to protect the deposit through one of the Government-backed schemes. We cannot offer legal advice on a dispute regarding any deductions. Instead, the scheme provider must deal with this.
However, if you fail to protect the deposit and have a claim against you, our legal team will be able to advise you on any legal issue and how to handle this. Please do not deal with the tenant’s lawyers or make any offer to settle until you have spoken to our experts in property law.
8. Can you advise me on what type of tenancy agreement to use?
It is essential to use the correct type of tenancy. Most private landlord rental properties are subject to an assured shorthold tenancy. The housing act stipulates when and under certain circumstances, you cannot use an assured shorthold tenancy.
It is essential for landlords to know the difference between:
1. Assured Shorthold tenancy
2. Assured Tenancy
3. Common Law Tenancy
4. Licence Agreement
9. Can the British Landlords Association offer landlord advice on a lease for a commercial shop unit?
Yes, our legal team can deal with all commercial lease queries.
10. Does the British Landlords Association offer an eviction service?
No, however, part of our member benefit is access to eviction companies that specialise in the eviction process and can help you through the necessary legal action.
11. can the British landlord association help with solutions for landlords regarding energy efficiency ratings?
Yes, we can offer some basic advice on EPC.
Please note we cannot advise on:-
- Planning or Building regulation issues
- Housing benefit issues
- Any Deposit issues- save for your legal obligation under the HA to protect a deposit. We can help with a claim against you for non-protection
- How to complete court documents
- Advice or issues regarding extended leasehold properties or problems with leasehold management companies
How to Use the Member’s Landlord Advice Line?
Please complete the enquiry form below, where advice may be offered by email or, if possible, by telephone. We will respond in 3 days maximum (excluding weekends or public holidays).
Please note you must state the full name of the BLA membership member. Non-members will need to join before we can offer support.
Alternatively, members can email us; [email protected]
The British Landlords Association is a national landlords association for residential & commercial landlords. Join us today; membership for the year is only £69.95