What are the implications of more of us becoming landlords?

What are the implications of more of us becoming landlords?

9:31 AM, 21st July 2016, About 5 years ago 24

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The headlines have been telling us that the number of landlords in the UK has been increasing in recent years as more people choose to taking their savings out of the banks and reinvest it in property.landlords

Though this could go some way to solving the so-called housing crisis that the country is currently in the midst of, we now find ourselves in a situation where a lot of inexperienced people are becoming landlords for the first time.

Although there are plenty useful resources available to new landlords to educate them before leasing to tenants, will their lack of experience affect tenant experience and satisfaction? Will the inexperienced landlord’s loss be the experienced landlord’s gain?

Or will it have a negative effect on the reputation of landlords as a whole?

I’d be interested to hear the community’s thoughts on this.

Chris



Comments

by Luke P

12:01 PM, 28th July 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Adam Davies" at "27/07/2016 - 22:59":

Whilst I agree that being self-sufficient and having an interest in whatever you do will get you very far, it also stands to reason that someone with 150 properties and managing a further 350 60hrs/week, every week, will undoubtedly be right on top of the ever changing legislation and have a far greater chance of coming across problems/changes very shortly after they occur, than someone merrily plodding along with two properties.

'Far', isn't necessarily enough in this game.

I'm not being argumentative, actually I'm being sympathetic to those who do not have the 'luxury' of working all day, every day in the industry because the legislation is coming thick & fast!

by Mandy Thomson

13:17 PM, 28th July 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Luke P" at "28/07/2016 - 12:01":

I largely agree with your reasoning - of course the more you depend on something for a living, or the more you have to lose (financially or in other ways) the more committed you tend to be.

However, I have heard of landlords with large portfolios who don't keep up with legislation, and small landlords (myself included) who make a point of keeping on top of legislation. One of the most celebrated and well known landlords, Constantinos Regas (who defeated the London Borough of Enfield's selective and additional landlord licensing schemes in the High Court), only had one property at the time - his knowledge of housing legislation and housing issues is impressive to say the least.

What I'm saying is the term "professional landlord" ought to apply to someone who takes a professional approach regardless of the number of properties they let out. Most of the regulars on this forum certainly endeavour to be professional; unfortunately, it seems most landlords in general do not...

by Luke P

13:23 PM, 28th July 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "28/07/2016 - 13:17":

Agreed.

Incidentally Mandy, did you see the news over on LAT about a landlord being fined for not 'investigating and remedying' damp. It shows once again that LAs aren't sure themselves, but wanting LLs to fund diagnosis of what may turn out to be nothing. If they can't be sure of the problem themselves, they shouldn't serve a notice.

Having completed HHSRS myself, I have asked my LA for a copy of the qualification for the idiot LA 'inspector' and they're refusing on the grounds that it's personal information to the council worker (hiding behind the DPA). ICO said utter nonsense and it's akin to a gas engineer refusing sight of his Gas Safe reg or a Police Officer showing their Warrant card...

I had the inspector's boss call y/d who sneered and said you won't be getting a copy of his qualification (truth is, he's not qualified and they're hiding).

by Mandy Thomson

14:45 PM, 28th July 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Luke P" at "28/07/2016 - 13:23":

I haven't seen it, Luke - do you have a link?

I opposed Croydon Council's landlord licensing scheme because I was afraid of just this - there is mounting anecdotal evidence of inept and untrained council licensing inspectors throwing their weight around and issuing ill informed advice and even orders. For example, one landlord was told to seal her windows with putty - they're double glazed.

The best source I've found of these horror stories is over at Property Investment Project - http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/landlord-licensing/#comments I think you might find comment #97 of particular interest.

by Luke P

14:50 PM, 28th July 2016, About 5 years ago

https://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2016/7/hefty-fines-for-buy-to-let-owners-not-abiding-by-improvement-notices

The LL probably didn't help themselves by doing absolutely nothing, but my point was about the specific wording that they want the LL to 'investigate' at their own cost presumably.

I have the chap who co-wrote the legislation assisting me in fighting my LA, sending untrained, unqualified persons to inspect.

by Luke P

15:07 PM, 28th July 2016, About 5 years ago

Here's a FoI request I put together on behalf of my father after one of these inspections took place at one of his properties...

Been referred for internal review but expect I'll be forced to the ICO.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/hhsrs_qualifications_for_nelc_as#incoming-841151

by Gary Nock

15:15 PM, 28th July 2016, About 5 years ago

In relation to condensation - the bane of a landlords life- I got fed up with Groundhog Day around mid October "I've got damp and my bedding is all mouldy".

Unless you become a member of the RICS and do all the courses then I could not find a specific course that had a national recognised condensation qualification. However the NLA as part of their accreditation process do have a module. Part of the problem is evidencing what the cause of the condensation is. I watched a "surveyor" from a well known ventilation company come in with some testing equipment to have a look at a flat with "condensation" problems. He checked walls for damp, digitally measured wall temperature, and used a humidity testing device that gave room temperature, relative humidity and, dew point. I watched this with interest and saw that it wasn't rocket science. He produced a report that stated it was condensation (surprise surprise) and he could install a ventilation system for £1500. In a one bed flat. I used it to prove to the tenants that it was indeed their lifestyle - drying clothes, shutting all the windows, and not having any central heating on.

To cut a long story short I bought all the calibrated equipment for about £150. And now can prove by empirical evidence that it's condensation and not damp. I had a tenant refer the "damp" in a bedroom to the LA. I did my "survey" and in addition checked the roof and the loft for leaks and took pictures etc. I produced the report and sent it to the tenant who sent it to the LA. The LA rang me and asked my qualifications. I reeled off NLA Accreditation, Institute of Residential Property Management, 14 years as a landlord, Block Management, etc etc. At the other end silence. Then I asked him his. Again silence. Eventually he said "I'll get back to you".

That was three months ago.

It's one thing just saying it's condensation. Proving it is a different thing. But with the right instruments and interpretation it can be done. And it's really not rocket science.

by Mandy Thomson

15:31 PM, 28th July 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Luke P" at "28/07/2016 - 14:50":

Thanks. Keep us updated on your FOI and the investigation. Just goes to show why we need the Property118 Action group!

by Mandy Thomson

10:33 AM, 1st August 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Luke P" at "28/07/2016 - 13:23":

BTW, Luke - I meant to ask you where you studied with for your HHSRS certificate, as I'm thinking of doing this myself so I can defend myself if I get an unfair assessment from a council inspector.

I know people such as the RLA run a kind of overview version of this, but it's my understanding that it only goes into the high level legislation and provides an awareness of how the assessments are carried out, but it doesn't qualify you to carry out an HHSRS assessment yourself - would this be enough to enable one to challenge an unfair assessment?

I had a look on this forum for housing professionals, on a thread about the HHSRS: https://rhenvironmental.co.uk/index.php/blogs/housing/post/290 . Below are a couple of comments from local authority housing officers on their experiences of applying the HHSRS:

"some of the concerns about the HHSRS arise more from misunderstandings, poor practise in local authorities, and poor drafting of the legislation than with the HHSRS itself. "
"keeping up to date with current evidence on 29 hazards and making sure everyone in the team is aware of it is a tall order!"

by Luke P

11:46 AM, 1st August 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "01/08/2016 - 10:33":

Our local landlords association of which I am the Chair, paid for any members who wanted to take it and we use Paul Fitzgerald EHO. He co-wrote the legislation and I will be speaking with him later today about getting him to go over all the LAs errors. We are offering to pay for the council staff to take the course (just so we can use it against them at a later date when they refuse), but that also means they have to admit they are not currently qualified 🙂


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