Houses are more than bricks and mortar. They are homes, where we spend our time and live our lives. And they should be places where we can feel safe.

If something goes wrong with your home it can be unsettling. Whether you rent or own your home there are legal problems that can come your way. If you are a landlord you may also need legal advice.

I am renting and have legal issues

If you pay someone to rent a room or a house from them you are known in legal terms as a tenant. The person you rent from is usually known as your landlord.

Many people who are tenants sign an agreement or a contract with the person that they are renting from. These documents set out things like the amount of rent money that needs to be paid and the responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord. 

This can cover anything - from whether you are allowed to own a goldfish or paint a bedroom door, right through to what will happen if there is a structural problem with the house itself.

However, even when there is a contract in place there can be more problems than you might think between tenants and landlords that can quickly become legal issues. Sometimes lawyers can help you to understand your rights in a particular situation and can represent you with your landlord to try and resolve the situation. 

I'm buying or selling a house

It is well known that moving home can be one of the most stressful events in life.

If you ever buy or sell property of any sort, or even re-mortgage, there are legal requirements and checks to be taken care of.

Legal contracts, offers and completion processes, and land searches are some of the ones you might need to sort out. These requirements are part of the whole process involved in buying or selling a house. In legal terms this is called conveyancing.

Many people choose to get a lawyer to take care of everything. If you talk to a law firm that offers conveyancing services you might find different lawyers like Chartered Legal Executives, CILEx Practitioners, licensed conveyancers and solicitors working there who will be able to take care of your legal requirements.

The Gov.uk website publishes guides on buying a home and selling a home.

I am a landlord

Whether you rent out your spare room or own lots of rental properties, being a landlord means you may come across legal issues that you need to take care of.

These legal issues could include:

  • having contracts with your tenants and holding their deposits
  • understanding tax requirements and health & safety requirements
  • resolving disputes and other problems with your tenants

Depending on the situation you may want to talk to a lawyer that specialises in the legal issues that landlords need to know about. You can find information about the different types of lawyer and how to find the right one for your situation on our types of lawyers page.

If you are still at the stage of not really knowing for sure if you need legal help, or are just looking to get some advice on your options and situation, there are places you can turn to.

The Government site has a section on all of the relevant legislation, and could help you understand your role as a landlord and how to manage some of the situations you might come up against.