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What do I do when a tenant is saying I didn't give them the How to Rent booklet when I did?
Does signing that they've seen the EPC count as providing the How to Rent booklet too?
This is a very difficult tenant who lied on their initial application and is now trying to get me in trouble, even though I've followed all the legislation to the letter!
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Sorry it does not. The EPC and Right to rent are 2 different things. What I do is go through everything as tedious as it is, explain and answer questions and then get them to sign a document saying that I have explained everything to them and issued them with the Right to Rent/EPC/Gas Certificate. I ensure everything is dated, names are in full with addresses. A copy for the tenants is always given. It takes time, but it does protect you.
One of my tenants tried to tell me I had to let her move out before I could let people view. I promptly reminded her of said document she signed and the Right to Rent had been issued to her and the fact that we had gone through it together page by page. On that score she promptly said in that case she would move out before the tenancy came to an end. Of course she tried to get money back, I then pointed out, it was her choice to move and as far as I was concerned her moving date was as we previously agreed so no refunds.
The reason I go through and discuss with them every page is because I know most are only interested in getting the keys and won't bother to read the document. It's like the small print in contracts that people don't read. Then when they get stung they claim they were not told.
Hindsight is a wonderful teacher and you can learn from it. Get the tenant to sign a copy of the How to Rent booklet and keep it in your archives, I keep an electronic copy to save storing the physical item.
Following a colleague's recent court case in which the tenant said his signature was a forgery, I now ask for a thumb print in addition to the signature.
The government has introduced draconian rules for landlords and I regret that only meticulous documentation can overcome them. For some reason the government sees landlords as the enemy, they will soon learn their mistake when they have to deal with the inevitable homelessness which will result from the relentless onslaught on landlords.
Every document should be signed and thumb printed on every page, particularly deposit information. Make sure that the tenant does this before you sign the tenancy agreement - no excuses you have too much to lose.
I don't think it is ever too late to show it to tenant. Why not email the pdf copy, available on government website?
Send another one out with proof of postage with a letter saying "as discussed please find enclosed a replacement copy of xxxxxxxx?
Yeah that sucks, I've added a set of 3 checkboxes to tenancy agreements, immediately above where the T signs acknowledging they have had all 3 sets of documents - and on the inventory (which they sign the bottom of each page), note down the smoke alarms and have a tested yes/no section to demonstrate compliance with that bit of legislation too.
The daft thing about that booklet is that it should be read several days or weeks before a tenancy is contemplated, not as it is signed. Print it on tissue then at least it will have a second use.
Suggest you send them link on all your comms with them & then have a clause in the TA to say they have read it...
— David Lawrenson (@LettingFocus) July 19, 2017
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