As part of recent government proposals to give better protection to tenants, local authorities may soon be able to share their Rogue Landlord Database with prospective renters.
This means that tenants will be able to look up not only landlords, but also letting agents by name, on the database to check their track records, with blacklisting possible for failing to provide proper accommodation.
Of course the majority of reputable landlords and letting agents will have nothing to worry about but with other new laws recently imposed, all in favour of tenants, it is good practice to protect yourself from any possible allegation against you and your property to ensure there is no way you could fall fowl of the new proposals and end up on the Rogue Landlord list.
“Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences.”
former Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire
Top 4 Tips to be a legally compliant Landlord:
- Understanding the Human Habitation Act
The Fitness for Human Habitation Act came into force in July 2018. It outlines a wide range of subjective items which could cause a property to be considered unfit for human habitation. It can result in major problems for landlords and letting agents alike if a tenant makes a complaint. The best way to stay compliant is to carry out regular check ups on your property so that you have ongoing evidence to show that your property is in good condition should you receive a complaint from your renters, meaning that no claim can be made against you. Which brings us neatly on to tip 2…
- Carrying out Property Health Checks
Current advice recommends that landlords are proactive in checking their properties regularly to nip any impending problems in the bud before they become an issue as well as providing the evidence needed to prove everything at your property is in good order should the need arise. This sort of Property MOT should be carried out by a professional company at regular intervals during a tenancy between every 3-6 months.
Read more about Property Health Checks
- Pre-Tenancy Requirements – Landlord checklist
Before the start of each new tenancy there is a list of basic requirements which all landlords and letting agents should ensure have been completed. This includes standard matters such as gaining a current Gas Safety Certificate and other less obvious items such as fitting safety blind cord cleats to each window with a blind.
For a free comprehensive checklist of items email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Inventory Reports avoid disputes and damage to your reputation
Finally, one of the most important things you can do to protect your property is to get a professional property inventory report carried out by an independent inventory clerk who is trained to create a thorough report, knowing what to look for, what to include and how to describe it, all backed up with lots of accurate photographs.
The main advantage of a professional report is that it provides an independent opinion on the condition of your property so, in the case of a dispute you can’t be judged as being biased, meaning your investment and your reputation as a good landlord are fully protected.
For further information on any of the services listed above including; Inventory Reports, Property Health Checks and Landlord Checklists, or if you just need some advice on staying compliant, contact Eclipse Inventories today.