Legal advice for landlords – whether large or small

When it comes to legal advice for landlords, it’s important that you seek experts in the subject, regardless of whether you have a single property or a portfolio of rental homes.

That’s because making a legal mistake can be an expensive undertaking and you will need to be properly repaired, regardless of what the legal issue is.

Here, we take a look at some of the potential legal issues for landlords with some sound advice and remember – it is always worth speaking with a properly qualified solicitor with expertise in dealing with landlords and their legal issues.

Legal advice that will help landlords

For example, the type of legal advice that will help landlords will include:

  • Drafting a tenancy agreement correctly
  • Ensuring that your assured shorthold tenancy is not only enforceable but correct
  • Seeking advice on a troublesome tenant and recovering a rental property
  • Helping to claim damages and rent arrears from a former tenant
  • Understanding the laws in relation to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

And for those landlords in England, you will also need to comply with the Right to Rent rules.

Other issues include an obligation for the landlord to give their tenant a copy of the ‘How to Rent’ guide published by the government.

They must also install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in their property.

A landlord must also provide their tenant with a copy of the rental property’s Gas Safety certificate and also the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

It’s important that you comply with the law

If you are new to buy to let, then some of the obligations may appear to be daunting so it’s important that you comply with the law from the very beginning and a solicitor can help explain more. You could contact:

  • Solicitors who have expertise in landlord legal problems directly
  • Sign-up with a professional organisation to access free legal advice
  • Scour landlord forums to see what other landlords recommend.

This last point is interesting because the participants will be speaking from experience and their free advice for private landlords advice may well prove to be correct – but it’s still worth doublechecking with someone who is legally qualified in law.

Other times a landlord may need legal advice

For those who are new to renting out a property to tenant, you will soon be aware there are various laws that must be followed so that your property is being let legally.

Essentially, the laws that are in place are there to protect both you and your tenant and ensure that you are compliant with the regulations.

However, this means that you need to be prepared should you encounter legal issues, such as:

  • Should your tenant’s financial situation change and they can no longer pay the rent. You will need to be prepared for a ‘void’ period where you receive no rent. You may then need to consider the eviction process and a qualified solicitor may prove invaluable
  • Landlord deposit questions: Protecting the tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme needs to be done within the mandated timescales. If you fail to protect the deposit or protect it past the deadline, then you may need to seek legal advice

There are other legal duties, such as having a valid Gas Safety certificate for your rental property and there are circumstances where a tenant may decide to make a formal complaint.

They may say, for example, that your rental property is in a severe state of disrepair or is unsafe and they may claim that you have failed to address the issues.

Again, landlords news and forum sites can help and offer some potential solutions to a legal predicament and it’s important that you do not simply ignore any problem that may escalate.

Landlord insurance firms will offer a legal helpline

That’s why some professional organisations and landlord insurance firms will offer a legal helpline that you can quickly and easily access for their free legal advice that you need to resolve your situation.

Indeed, accessing legal knowledge that is up-to-date and from a professional may prove to be invaluable and some landlord free helpline UK offerings are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deal with landlord questions.

As mentioned, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an ‘accidental’ landlord, that is someone who may have tried selling or inherited their property before deciding to rent it out, or whether you have a large portfolio of rental homes; you still have legal obligations and not complying with the law can be expensive and time-consuming.

It’s important to appreciate that a qualified solicitor can also help with:

  • Rent arrears and this may include a dispute over the service charge
  • Unlawful and harassment disputes
  • Disrepair claims
  • Tenancy deposit claims
  • Dealing with a breach of the tenancy agreement, or Section 21
  • Rent repayment orders
  • Possession proceedings and also evictions.

Searching for legal advice for landlords

It’s essential that for anyone searching for legal advice landlords utilise the expertise of those who are qualified to give legal advice so you avoid a serious situation becoming worse – or even more expensive.

More information

There’s a helpful page on the Law Society’s website about letting a property which covers the legal advice for landlords and explains why you should speak with a solicitor before renting out property.


About S Thompson

Simon Thompson is Editor of Landlord News and CEO of

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