Victorian London - Publications - Etiquette and Advice Manuals - Guide to the Unprotected in Every-day Matters relating to Property and Income, by a Banker's Daughter, 1874 - Chapter V - House Property

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   In purchasing a House, bear in mind that in calculating the interest you will receive on the money spent in buying it, you must deduct from the gross rent you expect to receive, not only the cost of repairs, the land-tax, the insurance against fire, but the money which would fail you if the House remained unlet for a time. If you employ a person to collect the rent, a certain amount of commission will be required by him. and will be the cause of a further deduction.

    In hiring a House, it is customary for the Tenant to pay all taxes, rates, and charges, except [-109-] the property-tax, land-tax, and public-drainage-tax if there be any; these the Landlord pays.

    In selling a House, if you employ an Agent, come to an understanding beforehand what is his charge for commission, and have it written down, otherwise you are liable to an exorbitant demand.

    In hiring Furnished Lodgings or a House, be careful to have a written agreement. Have mentioned in it any window panes that are broken or cracked; the same with all china and table glass; also (if any Servants are left in the House) how much attendance is to be given; how much firing, house-linen, and plate; what notice is required previous to leaving; whether there are any extra charges, and if so, what they are.

[-110-]  Useful form:—

    Mrs. Jones agrees to let Mrs. M— a sitting-room and two bedrooms, for the sum of — per week, from this day [or the — day of — 186—]. This sum includes every expense. No extras for use of House linen or plate, nor anything else, except for the washing of the House linen and for coals. The coals to be charged as follows: For Drawing-room fires, — per day; Bedroom fires, — per night when used. Gas per week — —.
    Either party can end this agreement when they
please, giving three days' notice of their wish to do so. The proportion of rent up to the day of leaving is to be paid, and not to the end of the complete week.
Mrs. Jones assures Mrs. M— there has been no fever, nor anything infectious in these rooms, that the beds are free from obnoxious insects, and that there are no rats about the rooms.

Anne Jones.

R         August, 1866.

    Infectious Lodgings. — Letting lodgings which have been occupied by lodgers afflicted with contagious diseases, before the lodgings have [-111-] been effectually purified, is now an offence punishable by law. The Sanitary Act of 1866 (Vict. 29 and 30, c. 90, sec. 39) provides that, — "If any person knowingly lets any house, room, or part of a house, in which any person suffering from any dangerous infectious disorder has been, to any other person, without having such house, room, or part of a house, and all articles therein liable to retain infection, disinfected to the satisfaction of a qualified medical practitioner, as testified by a certificate given by him, such person shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding £20. For the purposes of this provision the keeper of an inn shall be deemed to let a part of a house to any person admitted as a guest into such inn."

    A Lady Day, Midsummer, Michaelmas, or Christmas Let or Take, is the taking of a House from Lady Day to Lady Day, Midsummer to Midsummer, Michaelmas to Michaelmas, Christmas  [-112-] to Christmas, as the case may be. When there is no agreement, and the Tenant wishes to leave, notice must be given six calendar months previously to the end of the Let or Take; thus, if it is a Lady Day Take, the notice to quit must be given on or before the preceding Michaelmas Day.

    Notice to Quit — The following forms may be useful.

    Notice from a Landlord to a Tenant—

        I hereby give you Notice to quit and deliver up, on the — day of — next ensuing, or on such other day or time as your tenancy shall expire, after the expiration of six calendar months from the service of this Notice, the peaceable and quiet possession of all that Messuage or Tenement, Garden and Premises, which you now rent of or hold under me, situate in —, in the parish of —, in the county of — . Dated the — day of —, One Thousand Eight Hundred and —

            To A.B.

(Name, date and address.)

[-113-] Notice from a Tenant to a Landlord:—

       I hereby give you Notice that it is my intention, on the — day of — next, to quit and deliver up possession of the house and premises I now hold of you, situate at — —, in the parish of — —, in the county of — —.

Dated the — — day of — —, 18—.

Witness, E. F.                       Signed, C. D.

        To Mr. A.B.


Notice from a Lodger, to quit Apartments: —

    I hereby give you Notice that on the — day of — next, I shall quit and deliver up the rooms or apartments I hold of you in this house.

Dated the — day of  —, 18—.

Witness, F. F.                      Signed, C. D.

        To Mr. A.B.


Arrears of Rent— When your Tenant does not pay, write to your Agent—

Sir,— I find that Mr. A. B. has not paid his Rent, which became due — — last. Please write to him on the subject, and inform him that for the future I shall be obliged by his paying it on the proper days, viz. — — and —.

        To Mr. E. F.

(Name, date, and address.)


    Sir, — I am much disappointed at my new Tenant having commenced so early to be in arrear. Please give him notice, that at the expiration of a month I expect the whole amount to be paid, without fail, to the credit of my account.

         To Mr. E. F.

    (Name, date, and address.)

[-115-] Receipt for Rent:—

Derby, the — day of —, 18—.

    Received of Mr. A. B. the sit in of — being one quarter's Rent due at — last, for the House and Premises, No. —, — Street, in the Parish of —, less — for Property Tax.

C.D. (Landlord.)


    Insurance against Fire, for House, Furniture, Pictures, &c., is a precaution which should never be neglected or delayed. The premium must be paid when due, or you will forfeit the benefit should a fire take place. If a stove is in, or at any time added to the House, it must be mentioned in the Policy. Ascertain from your Attorney or Banker the name of a respectable Insurance Office, and then apply to the Agent, and he will relieve you of any further trouble.

    Appeals against Rates.— The grounds upon which parties may appeal are-inequality, unfair-[-116-]ness, or incorrectness in the valuation of the Property rated. If you feel aggrieved in either of these particulars, and desire to appeal, consult your Attorney at once, but appeals are uncertain and expensive, and costs are not always given to the successful party.

   Land Tax, Property Tax, and Ground Rent, paid by the Tenant, should be deducted out of the Tenant's next payment of Rent.

Liabilities of Tenants.—  In taking a House, it is of great importance to know the liabilities you incur, as from ignorance a person may be led into much unnecessary trouble and expense. As it is a subject of itself, and too long to describe in a work like this, I advise those intending to buy or rent, to purchase the latest edition of some book on this subject. (See Index for Useful Books.)
    In the event, however, of any difficulty being experienced, I strongly recommend you to consult [-117-] your Attorney, as I believe that, if either party is litigious, there are few relations in life, in which questions which may lead to litigation are more likely to arise, than in that of Landlord and Tenant.