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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Why The Unfair Terms Legislation Is So Essential To Housing Law

All tenants should sign a contract to rent a property from a landlord legally. However, that doesn’t mean all tenants have to take the contract as it is.

Amendments exist for a reason, and it’s always in a client’s best interests to recommend them if they believe they’re being taken advantage of. Not only does it ensure them a better deal, but it saves the landlord from establishing unfair terms in the tenancy agreement. This is an essential piece of legislation in housing law, and there are several clear reasons why.

It Avoids An Imbalance Of Power

In a tenancy agreement, landlords naturally hold more power. It’s tough to balance that out, but it is possible to ensure it doesn’t tip too far in their favour.

Without this, landlords would be free to make decisions to their tenant’s detriment, without them being able to fight back. That may interfere with their basic rights as a renter of the property, and therefore, bring ethical concerns into the equation.

This can work both ways, with the tenancy agreement potentially putting too much power in the tenant’s hands. However, given that agreements are drawn up by the landlord’s representatives, the chances of that happening are severely unlikely.

It Prevents Duping The Tenant

It’s not merely the terms of a tenancy agreement that can be deemed unfair. The wording of the document itself might be thrown into question if it’s considered complex and overrun with legal terminology.

A landlord, or their representatives, might be inclined to craft an agreement this way to stop a tenant from realising what they’re signing. That way, they have more freedom to make decisions, enact changes, and generally influence the tenancy, such as unlawfully evicting the occupant from the property.

The unfair terms legislation stops this from happening, at least regarding the complex crafting of the agreement. A landlord can still unlawfully evict a tenant, although doing so can land them a court case. Housing law experts like Ashwood Solicitors help with housing eviction to ensure tenants aren’t removed outside the realms of the law. Their housing law advice can grant an occupant regained access to the property, as well as compensation, should the unfair terms legislation not catch out a landlord first.

It Stops Landlords From Overcharging

In an agreement, landlords are free to charge tenants for certain penalties, such as property damage. However, the unfair terms legislation prevents them from setting the fees as high as they want and charging occupants an exorbitant amount.

Money is already a significant concern for many tenants, especially with rental rates constantly increasing. Most people who rent do so because they can’t afford to buy a property, so there’s a limit on their access to spare income. If they didn’t have enough to cover penalty fees because the charges were too high, it could lead to issues meeting rent and bill payments.

Naturally, the smartest thing to do is avoid incurring these charges as much as possible. Accidents happen, though, and the unfair terms legislation ensures that this doesn’t reduce a tenant to bankruptcy.

If housing law didn’t prevent landlords from taking advantage of their tenants, there would be uproar. With clients unable to afford to buy a home or establish a fair rental agreement, there’d potentially be more significant issues of homelessness, poverty, and criminal behaviour. Thankfully, this legislation helps control that.

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