Friday, 6 November 2015

Rogue landlords beware - you're being watched

Rogue property landlords who fail to act in the best interests of their tenants have been warned – the authorities are watching you closer than ever.

Solicitor Mohammed Ahsan, from Martin-Kaye in Telford, said: “Irresponsible landlords are giving the rental industry a bad name, and the Government is clamping down hard.

“More and more people are renting homes privately these days, instead of buying, and officials are determined to help make sure they have decent homes to live in. Most landlords act lawfully, but when rogue landlords break the rules, the message is clear – the authorities, and the courts, will go after them.

“Local authorities can issue penalties of up to £5,000 for non-compliance with rules, so it is more important than ever for landlords to ensure their paperwork meets with legal requirements.”

His comments come as a new survey of British tenants showed that both landlords and tenants were unclear what needed to be done both before and during a tenancy agreement. One in four tenants said their landlord had not provided them with any kind of written rental agreement, in the survey carried out by EasyRoommate.

“The survey also showed that 25 per cent of tenants said their landlord did not provide them with a satisfactory service for dealing with urgent house repairs. The Government says it is determined to crack down on rogue landlords, and has warned them they will be heavily fined for committing housing-related offences.

“These include providing a local authority with false or misleading information, permitting or causing a property to be overcrowded, illegally evicting or harassing a tenant, or letting a property to an immigrant who cannot provide the paperwork to prove they are in the country legally.”

It has also become a legal requirement this year for a landlord to fit at least one smoke alarm on every storey of a property, as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance.

“Ignorance of the rules is no excuse, so any landlord unsure about the new regulations should seek specialist legal advice – it’s far less expensive than the potential fines which are now being imposed on law-breakers.”