How many times have you caught yourself wondering if your landlord is obeying the law? Well, London tenants are in luck because they do not have to keep wondering anymore as the mayor recently introduced a new tool for renters to use in checking if their rented home has a licence or not.
The property licencing checker is available through the London Assembly/Mayor of London website. While the online tool does help you determine the licence status of your rented home, it still requires you to do some research, though, in relation to your landlord’s documentation.
How to use the property licencing checker
The online licence checking tool is quite easy to use. All you have to do is go through the following procedures:
The tool will tell you the kind of licence that is required by your property, which also helps determine if your landlord has the right paperwork.
- Open the tool and enter all your details.
Be prepared to provide your basic information, such as address and postcode. There should also be confirmation that the home you’re living in is privately rented as the tool is made specifically for private renters. Additionally, if you are renting and living with a lodger or two, you won’t be eligible to use the tool because you won’t need a licence.
It is also required that you have at least one person with you in the household who is paying rent.
Other information you will be required to disclose includes the number of people living in the property and how many households are in your rented home. An example of the number of households is when you are renting as two people (such as you and a friend). Here, there are two households in your home.
After providing all this information, you will know if you need a licence or not and a link will be provided for you.
- Use the link to check if your landlord has the licence needed.
When you click on the link, you will get details on how to check on which licence your landlord should have, as provided by your local council. There are many ways to do this, but councils typically have a list of licenced properties that you can easily view and access. In some cases, though, you’ll have to get in touch with the council to verify if your landlord has the required licence.
If you discover that your landlord does not have the right licence or documents, you can report this discovery to the local council using a link that will be provided for you.
Your rights as tenant if the rented home is not properly licenced
It is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all requirements for the property are met . As such, it is their responsibility to provide the correct licence for the home you are renting. If your landlord does not have it, you should exercise your legal right.
Your landlord cannot carry out no-fault evictions against you.
No-fault evictions or Section 21 notices give your landlord the freedom to evict you from the rented property with only two months’ notice after the end of your fixed-term contract. They can do this even without any reason. However, this becomes invalid if your landlord does not have the right licence for the rented property.
Your landlord can owe you £1,000s’ worth of rent repayment order.
If your landlord does not have the proper licence, you or the local council can apply to get a rent repayment order. There are varying processes for this, depending on which area you are located. It is a good idea to verify such information with your local council before starting to work on the procedure.
A successful case will see your landlord being required to refund the rent that you paid. The amount they will pay can be as costly as a year’s (12 months) worth of rent.
Another responsibility that your landlord should take seriously is protecting your tenancy deposit. Keeping your money safe throughout the duration of your tenancy should be a priority. England and Wales’ law mandates that all landlords of assured shorthold tenancies that commenced on or after April 6, 2007 are required to put tenants’ deposit money into one of the government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. They are expected to register the deposit within 30 days of receiving it.
Tenancy deposit compensation claims
Filing a tenancy protection compensation claim is not going to be easy. There are requirements and procedures to follow, and you can get lost in the midst of it all if you do not know what you are doing. So, working with an experienced team of solicitors is the best way to go. Work with a team that is authorised and regulated by The Solicitors Regulation Authority, and one that offers a no-win-no-fee guarantee.
The expert and experienced solicitors at Tenancy Deposit Claims will help you through every step of the tenancy deposit claims process. Your chances of a successful claim are higher if you work with them.