Q. One of my tenants has asked if she can change our rental agreement, so she starts paying monthly rather than at the quarterly rate we originally agreed in her contract. So far she has been a great tenant who I get on really well with and I really cannot imagine having any problems, but do you think there is a need to put anything this new arrangement in writing?
A. It is crucial for any landlord to be aware of everything that is expected of them. Failing to meet even the smallest issues can lead to complications, it is important for landlords to fully meet all of their responsibilities. It is also vital that they take every appropriate step to protect themselves from any potential problems in the future. Landlord and tenant relationships can be difficult. You are fortunate enough to have a good relationship with your tenant. However, it is worth remembering that even the best Relationships/friendships can turn sour due to unforeseen issues in the long run. Many disputes between landlords and tenants which head to court often relate to problems caused by a failure to make clear and comprehensive agreements in writing. You should always draw up a tenancy agreement, with a view to updating it if and when necessary. Dates for the rental payment are a fundamental part of letting property. Any failure to meet such payments could potentially lead to a tenant’s eviction. It is in everyone’s best interests to outline any change to a contract as clearly as possible. Both landlord and tenant should be absolutely clear about exactly what is expected from them. Since you are not renting through a professional I would always recommend that you seek advice from a lawyer when making amendments to a contract, so that everything you have put together is legally sound, and watertight. Failure to do so could make your changes null and void leaving you exposed if the worst did happen.