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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Tenancy paperwork

Find out as early as possible who will be responsible for managing the property. You will usually be expected to report repairs and problems to the property manager, who can be the landlord or an appointed agent. Even though the property has been marketed by an agent, the landlord may not have contracted the agent to manage the property.

Legally, your landlord or the agent must give you a rent book. There is certain information which must be contained in this document, including your basic rights and obligations. If you don't get a rent book, you can complain to your local council.

A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract, just like a contract for a mobile phone or broadband service. Once you sign or commit to a tenancy you are obliged to continue paying rent until either the landlord agrees to end the contract, the contract comes to a natural end and you have indicated that you do not wish it to continue, or the property is no longer available for you because someone else has moved in. 

As the property owner, you should make sure that you keep accurate records for all your rented properties. This should include information on your property's amenities as well as any safety certificates associated with the property. As a landlord, you are running a business and should give the same level of importance to record keeping as you would in any other business venture. You must also comply with the Data Protection Act and may have to notify the Information Commissioner's Office of your business.

There are some legal documents which you must provide to your tenants. Failure to provide certain documents to your tenants can result in prosecution and a hefty fine.

You must supply all tenants with certain information relating to their tenancy. Failure to supply these documents, in the correct format, within a specified period of time can result in a conviction and fine.

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