Cut out tenant risk early in the process

TIM JORDAN, HEAD OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY, FORSHAWS DAVIES RIDGWAY
TIM JORDAN, HEAD OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY, FORSHAWS DAVIES RIDGWAY

All of us who work with residential property have dealings with landlords, with some of us landlords ourselves. As a solicitor I am often asked about landlord and tenant issues.

Some surround eviction procedures and enforcement, but other problems only come to light after termination of a tenancy agreement. And it’s usually only when these problems are discovered that we are contacted.

Landlords often insist on a deposit from prospective tenants and this can be used to cover repair expenses. But it isn’t always enough, particularly when tenants have left on bad terms and purposely caused damage.

Unfortunately, other than reporting damage to the police there is little landlords can reasonably do to recover costs. For example, tenants do not tend to own property against which a charge can be registered.

We always recommend that landlords ensure their tenancy agreement is reviewed by a legal expert before letting, while doing background checks on prospective tenants is also important. It’s best to limit risk at the outset to avoid problems later.

A recent survey by The Deposit Protection Service shows tenants occasionally leave some interesting items when vacating, some of which could be expensive or inconvenient to remove.

The most common bizarre items left behind are sex toys. Others include the ashes of a deceased person, a pot-bellied pig, a lorry engine and a box containing nail clippings.