Legitimate landlords and property management companies or rental agencies are facing a tough start to 2016 with new regulations being passed which mean that they have to scrutinise their potential tenants more closely, in addition to meeting new safety regulations.
It may have seemed as though landlords who abide by the law are actually being penalised while those rogue landlords or people who let out rooms without being registered or paying taxes get away scot-free.
But now, new steps are being taken to crack down on landlords who get away with breaking the law.
The Government has announced a £5 million fund to be shared between about 48 councils in the UK in order to deal with rogue landlords. Councils will be able to take action, including raiding premises where necessary. This will allow them to pursue landlords who force tenants to live in sub-standard or dangerous accommodation.
The housing minister Brandon Lewis said the funds are just part of a series of measures being taken to protect tenants when they rent a home. The aim is not only to flush out cowboy landlords but also to raise the standard and choice of rental properties available.
The Housing and Planning Bill will also set up a database of rogue landlords and property agents who have been convicted of certain offences, with the possibility of imposing banning orders for the most serious offenders.
Landlords of properties such as Houses in Multiple Occupation can also face a stricter test to ensure that they are a fit and proper person to be renting out homes or rooms.
Most landlords behave responsibly with the majority of tenants being happy with the home that they rent and the service given.
Professional landlords and agents can make sure that they keep on top of all management and administrative duties by putting in place set procedures for interviewing tenants, checking-in and checking-out tenants and setting up new agreements. This can be assisted by specialist software which can be downloaded to a phone or tablet, allowing checks to be carried out when the tenant is present in the property in question.
If you or your agency has a reputation for being fair-handed and professional to deal with, you could benefit from increased business as rogue landlords are steadily eradicated from the letting market.
If you belong to a professional association or organisation, always indicate this on your business card and stationery. This will significantly improve levels of confidence, not only with potential tenants but with other professionals and service providers in the industry with whom you work.