In Gibraltar, the law relating to lettings can be found in two enactments. Business tenancies are covered by the Landlord & Tenant Act, and residential lettings come under the Housing Act.
Both Acts seek to provide a level playing field, but can sometimes create traps for the unwary.
Thus, where a residential property was built before the 1st of January 1945, tenants are entitled to certain protections including security of tenure for themselves and their family. Landlords will not be able to charge more than the "statutory rent" for such premises, and these will invariably be much lower than current market rents.
Before entering into a letting arrangement, landlords must ensure that they do not inadvertently give away the value of their property. There are ways in which this can be avoided, and your lawyer will advise you accordingly, depending on the age and configuration of the property.
Part V of the Housing Act provides a scheme for the levying of reasonable service charges for the maintenance of residential buildings.
When it comes to dwellings built after the 1st January, 1945, landlords must still be careful to use tenancy agreements which are drafted to ensure that tenants properly maintain their apartments and that they can be recovered as quickly as possible in the event of a failure to pay rent or other defaults.
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