Protecting your deposit if you rent a house or flat
How can you make sure your rental deposit isn’t taken by an unscrupulous landlord? Make sure you know the rules
If you rent your home from a private landlord on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), which accounts for the vast majority of rental agreements, any deposit you give upfront must be covered by a protection scheme. This applies to tenancies that started or were renewed after April 2007. Until the beginning of the month this only applied to England and Wales, but from July 2nd Scottish landlords will also have to protect their tenants’ deposits. How do these schemes work and how can you get your money back if there’s a problem?
Squatting is now a criminal offence in England and Wales
Landlords should be able to evict squatters more easily, but some have criticised the law
A new law means that it's now a criminal offence to squat in a residential property. Until now it's been a civil matter and some property owners have complained that it can take a lot of time and expense to evict a squatter. The new law has divided opinion with the National Landlords Association, which represents individual landlords, saying it doesn't go far enough and some housing charities saying that criminalising squatters is the wrong approach. Here’s what the new law says and what it could mean.
Are you able to claim back commission you've paid a letting agent in the past?
If you're a landlord who used a letting agency to find you a tenant for a property, are you still paying them commission?
By Polly Botsford, legal journalist.
An ‘introduction fee’ or commission is often charged by estate agents and letting agents who find a tenant for a private landlord. In the past, some agents have also charged what is known as rent renewal commission. That is, they continued to charge a commission for all the subsequent years that the tenant was paying rent in the property – and that commission was as much as 11% of the annual rent.