New and existing Landlords are you sure you are compliant with all the regulations and keeping up to date with recent changes?

Continual updates to property letting regulations make it hard for the average landlord and tenant to remain legal. Legislation for landlords to provide safe and compliant homes is constantly up-dating, but many landlords feel it is becoming more onerous and harder to keep up with. If you are unsure about any of the updated legislation mentioned in this article email

The following is a list of some changes introduced in the last 12 months that all landlords should be aware of and ensure they are compliant with.

  • Legal requirement regarding Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Proving a tenants ‘Right to Rent’
  • The new Prescribed Section 21 notice
  • Requirement to prove you have issued the Right to Rent guide, gas safety and EPC to the tenant
  • Requirement to issue the CURRENT How to rent’ Guide 
  • Property Ombudsman new rules covering inspections for Letting Agents

With so many new laws recently introduced it can be increasingly difficult for landlords to self-manage their portfolios and ensure that are up to date with current legislation.

10% of landlords have no formal tenancy agreement in place at all with their tenants and Landlords may also be unwittingly asking tenants to sign documents that are not legally compliant as they are using old outdated tenancy agreements.

The consequences of not being compliant places the landlord at greater risk of tenant problems, significant fines and potentially putting a tenant’s life at risk through non-compliant gas installations.

The vast majority of the U.K.’s circa 2 million landlords are often people who do not even consider themselves a landlord, as they have a day job or career and just invest in property as a pension hedge or to generate additional income.  They may be too busy in their work-a-day world to keep up with their legal obligations.  

The majority of landlords let out just one property, so you do wonder how on earth they are supposed to keep up with these changes. Many don’t use a letting agent – and of those who do, only 60 per cent use an agent who keeps up to date with latest changes via bodies such as the Propertymark Scheme or Association of Residential Letting Agents. Belvoir Dunstable are a member of the Property Ombudsman Scheme, Propertymark and Propertymark.

Why would you use a Letting Agent ?

  • A letting agent has the responsibility of looking after your property to get the right tenants. If you are renting the property yourself privately you will advertise the property and meet the prospective tenants at your property. More often than not, the tenants will put you on the spot and ask for it there and then, and being your property, sometimes saying NO isn’t easy. Whereas a good letting agent has no problem saying ‘NO, we are currently interviewing a number of clients and we will come back to you’.
  • A letting agent will fully reference any prospective tenants. You can’t judge a book by the cover and neither can you judge another person. Sometimes the tenant seems ideal but an in-depth credit check, employment check and previous landlord check can uncover any hidden issues.
  • A managed property is an inspected property. As a landlord you can inspect the property yourself, but with the tenants there it can be an uncomfortable process and most landlords skim through the property as quickly as possible if they check the property at all. An inspection using a letting agency means the property manager goes to the property with a clip board and a pen in order to thoroughly check your property and if there are any problems a good letting agent has no problem confronting the issues with the tenants and explaining that it needs to be put right.
  • Can you keep up with all the new legislation? So here are some of the checks that landlords have an obligation to perform. Right to rent checks, gas safety checks, legionella risk assessment, issuing the correct AST, deposit protection regulation, smoke and CO2 alarms etc etc and legislation is changing all the time
  • It takes all the hassle away… We deal with any hassle so you don’t have to.
  • A letting agent will collect your rent and credit your bank account. If anyone is late paying for any reason they can chase the payment, without you having to worry about any awkward conversations.
  • Those pesky maintenance issues. If you are ‘hands on’ you can deal with them yourself or for most landlords that have a managed property with a letting agent, the letting agent can provide you with a couple of competitive prices and the biggest inconvenience you as a landlord have is to say yes or no.

Legislation and Training

Regulated letting agents must keep up to date with the latest legislation to ensure their teams have a full knowledge and understanding of all legal and compliance surrounding the letting of properties. Belvoir have a legal and Compliance team in their Head Office in Grantham to ensure we are kept fully compliant and up to date.

Membership of a redress scheme

Regulated letting agents must be members of a redress scheme to ensure consumers are protected. Belvoir Dunstable are members of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) a UK government-approved organisation which providing independent conflict resolution and raising standards of service in the residential property industry. 

Your money is protected

Belvoir Dunstable have client money protection ensuring that rent deposits and client funds are protected. Belvoir Dunstable are also members of the Propertymark client money protection scheme.  This ensures that client money is held in a designated client account and accounts are independently inspected annually (and an accountant’s report is submitted to Propertymark each year).

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Belvoir Dunstable have professional indemnity insurance (with the appropriate cover). Professional indemnity insurance covers businesses in case inadequate advice or services are provided to a client; professional indemnity insurance will cover legal costs and expenses in defending a claim, as we as compensating businesses for any monies required to rectifying a mistake.

If you are unsure about any of the updated legislation mentioned in this article email