Common problems for landlords

As with anything, when you are prepared for the problem, it is easier to deal with. As a landlord, there will be many occasions when you are faced with a situation that you have to cope with. Preparation can ease the blow of these issues quite significantly.

This blog outlines all the issues you may come across as a landlord and how to prepare or deal with the matters.

The tenancy agreement:

It is always a good idea to have a written form of a tenancy agreement. A verbal agreement can lead to a multitude of problems later in the tenancy if you have a dispute over repairs and appliances. It is a good idea to have a witness to the agreement too who can testify if any problems occur.

Landlord right of entry

As a landlord you have the right to enter your property to carry out repairs. It is ‘reasonable access’ however, so if there is an emergency, they can enter immediately, otherwise it is courteous to ask to enter for a convenient time. You do not have the right to enter your property unless it is for repairs or an emergency unless you have a court order.


Part of the reason why a tenancy agreement is a good idea is so there is a written agreement when it comes to repairs. It should specify exactly what repairs the landlord is responsible for and what the tenant should take responsibility for. The level of care expected by the landlord should be very clear in the agreement.

Selling your property with the tenants

It is a possibility that you can sell your property with the tenants still living there. Your tenants will become sitting tenants and the new owner will slip into your shoes as landlord. The tenancy agreement is still valid, even if the landlord is a different person. The new landlord can not force the tenants to sign a new tenancy agreement but may try to do so. It isn’t until the end of the fixed term contract that the new landlord can make changes.


A property is considered overcrowded if there are more than the permitted number of people living there or two people of the opposite sex who are not husband and wife have to sleep in the same room. The local authority can prosecute the landlord and/or the tenant for this misdemeanour.

Responsibility for bills

This should be outlined in the tenancy agreement. Either the tenant is responsible for the fuel and water and must pay the bills, or the landlord can include it in the rent.

Charging for fuel

There are legal restrictions for how much a landlord can charge for fuel charged through a pre-payment scheme. If you charge too much, then your tenants will be eligible for a rebate.
If you, the landlord, are responsible for paying the bills and you miss a payment causing the supply to be cut off your tenants can report you to the Environmental Health Department or Tenancy Relations Officer.

Safety of electrical and gas appliances

You are responsible t ensuring all electric and gas appliances supplied with the home are safe. This includes heaters, cookers, kettles, boilers, You need to pay for any safety checks to happen every 12 months. You can be taken to court for not following through on the required gas checks.

Damage to contents or furniture

If your tenants damage your property or contents in your property then they should contact you to discuss how to replace the item. You have the right to deduct the cost of the damaged item from the deposit at the end of the tenancy so long as no agreement is met in the meantime.

Wear and Tear

Tenants are not responsible for wear and tear and you, the landlord, should replace any dangerous or broken items that are a result of wear and tear.

Television licenses

TV licenses are the responsibility of the tenant. You can choose to include one if you like.


This needs to be outlined clearly in the tenancy agreement. If you do not want pets under any circumstances and your tenant breaks this agreement, they will be responsible for cleaning and replacing any broken items. You can also evict them if necessary but this must be clear in the original agreement.

Property left in the home

If your tenants decide to leave property in the home when you leave, you may ask your tenants for the cost of clearing the items out of the home. If your tenants leave something by accident, it is your responsibility to return the item to them.


You may not discriminate your tenants for any of the following: disability, gender, pregnancy, maternity, race, religion, beliefs, sex or sexual orientation. You will be breaking the law and your tenant can take you to court.

Have you dealt with any problems as a landlord? Tell us your story below.

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