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Have you correctly documented changes during a tenancy?

Have you correctly documented changes during a tenancy?

No matter how long or short the duration of a tenancy there are often changes that occur and are all too often forgotten about, undocumented or result in a landlord, property or tenant being non-compliant. Not taking the correct action at the time can lead to issues with the deposit and confusion later down the line, so prevention by correctly documenting at the time is key.

Claire Pile MARLA details six of the most common changes that occur and the action you should take if they arise;

1.       Change in décor – It is not uncommon for a tenant to request permission to undertake redecoration during the tenancy when making a house a home, especially during long term tenancies. If permission is granted ensure that it is clear what has been permitted and what the expectation of the tenant will be at the end of the tenancy. Keep a written record and ensure that the inventory is also updated.

2.       Change of ownership – Where there is a change of ownership it is both the old and new landlords’ responsibility to ensure that the tenant is informed of the change and this notification is given in writing. In addition, the deposit scheme protecting the tenants deposit will need to be informed and in order to comply with deposit protection legislation, prescribed information re-served.

3.       Change of contact details – Where a landlord changes their address, phone number, email address it is important to ensure that the tenant is made aware and that the deposit protection scheme is notified. Notifying the deposit protection provider applies to change in the tenant’s details too.

4.       Change in legislation – With continuing legislation change effecting the private rented sector it is paramount that landlords ensure that they are fully compliant. Keeping a written record of when routine safety checks are due (landlord gas safety certificate, electrical installation reports, legionella risk assessments, carbon monoxide and smoke alarm expiry dates) and where applicable, when copies have been provided to a tenant may prove vital in future.   

5.       Change to the contract – There are often changes to a tenancy during a tenancy, for example, the landlord permitting the tenant to keep a pet at the property. As with a change of décor is it vital that there is written documentation amending the tenancy agreement to confirm what has been agreed and the expectation of the tenant now and at the end of the tenancy as a result.

6.       Change of agent – Switching agents or transferring the management of a tenancy from a landlord to an agent is not as difficult as some may think. Undertaking the work involved in notifying the tenant, setting up new payment arrangements and reviewing the properties compliance is usually undertaken by the agent providing a smooth and hassle-free transition giving you peace of mind.

These changes, to name just a few, often seem unimportant at the time however, can prove vital and therefore should not be overlooked.

If you would like advise on how to manage a change during your tenancy or if you are looking to transfer management to an agent contact your local Stags Lettings team.