A Property ‘MOT’ for Derby Landlords…

I just love looking over and keeping up to date with the 150 plus pieces of legislation that govern the rental of residential property in the UK”  said No Derby Landlord… ever

If you are one of the 6,827 Derby landlord’s that manages your own property, would it surprise you to know that there around 150 separate pieces of legislation that govern the rental of private houses to tenants?

Oh, and on top of these pieces of actual law, there are further 300+ regulations in the mix too.

Whilst Derby landlords may once have preferred to manage their Derby buy-to-let properties themselves to boost their profits, many Derby landlords are starting to see this as a false economy.

In the last four years, an additional 2,626 landlords in Derby have converted from self-managed to having their property managed by a letting agent in Derby, taking the total number of properties under management in Derby to around 10,700 out of a total of 17,500 private rental properties in Derby.

Now, don’t get me wrong, self-managing your Derby rental property can be a very fulfilling experience, allowing you as a Derby landlord to build a deep relationship with your tenant and your emergency 24 hour plumber, builder (happy to do small jobs at a drop of a hat), decorators, first name terms with their deposit provider, lawyer and EPC provider to name but a few. Wow!

A Fine Example

As you are probably aware, there are potential fines and penalties for not adhering to the multitude of legislation. Let’s look at Tenancy Deposits as an example.

Did you know that if your tenants deposit isn’t registered, or doesn’t continue to be registered after the end the periodic tenancy upon renewal… you could be fined up to three times your deposit. With average rental deposit in Derby being £575, each self-managed landlord in Derby could be fined £1,725 per tenancy if the deposit isn’t currently registered. Therefore…

…if every deposit of every Derby self-managed landlord’s property wasn’t registered, the total fines would be just under £12,000,000.

Now of course, I am not suggesting for one minute all the self-managed landlords of Derby haven’t registered their deposits, it is simply an example to illustrate the enormity of the figures involved!

Horror Stories

Yet almost on a daily basis, I come across horror stories to that effect. Another two, but by no means all,  hot issues that the Courts are cracking down on, are doing immigration ‘Right To Rent’ checks on all tenants – yes all tenants – and confirmation proving the tenant received the ‘How to Rent’ guide. If that second issue cannot be proved, the landlord cannot serve the section 21 Notice, meaning the tenant cannot be served notice to vacate the property.

To many, it’s really a case of D.I.Y or getting a qualified professional in… as those additional Derby landlords mentioned above have done since 2014.

I can hear you saying… “Of course you are going to say all this – you are a Letting Agent”!

Time and Knowledge

Well the choice really comes down to your time and your knowledge. If a Derby landlord is not equipped, or able, to devote time keeping up-to-date of legislation and law nor doesn’t want to be bothered 24/7/365 about a blown light bulb, dripping taps, have that confrontational conversation with their tenants about missing rental payments, or arbitrate arguments and disagreements between your tenant and the neighbours, it is perhaps better to pass this accountability/responsibility onto a letting agent.

Derby landlords that do use a letting agent should not forget that passing over management to a letting agent doesn’t mean they can disregard legislation and they are still responsible for deposit/rent repayment legal directives, civil fines or action if the letting agent makes a mistake. Therefore, it’s important to pick a good letting agent from the start.

Nevertheless, for those Derby landlords that see their job as a professional landlord and want to be intricately involved in the day to day administration of their rental properties, it can be worthy pursuit.

If you are a self-managed landlord in Derby, and want to know if your paperwork is in order please feel free to drop me a line and I am more than happy to do an ‘MOT’ on it to ensure you are the right side of the law.

I run regular, NO OBLIGATION One to One MOT Workshops which are FREE. Just contact me and pop into the office for a coffee… that’s free as well!

I’m Susan Cope, Managing Director, and I’m available on 01332 300197 or susanc@professionalproperties.co.uk