Periodic tenancies could make being a landlord riskier

Periodic tenancies could make being a landlord riskier

0:02 AM, 6th December 2023, About 3 months ago 9

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The Renters’ (Reform) Bill will scrap fixed-term tenancies (ASTs) and introduce periodic ones that could expose landlords’ properties to more damage, NoLettingGo warns.

The managing director of the inspection specialists, Nick Lyons, said: “With ASTs there is a tenancy timescale in place from the start – 6, 12, 24 months – whatever it may be.

“Under that system, it was easy for landlords and agents to organise check-in, mid-term and check-out inspections.

“If all lets revert to periodic, then they will have to keep track of the tenancy duration and decide how often they might want to check on their properties to ensure tenants are taking reasonable care of them.”

‘Years could pass between the beginning and end of a tenancy’

He continued: “A periodic tenancy will end when the tenant wants to leave, unless the landlord satisfies certain criteria to evict – if the Government proposal goes through, years could pass between the beginning and end of a tenancy.

“It’s vitally important that landlords and agents maintain a strict inspection regime to ensure the properties are being properly cared for.

“If a property isn’t monitored regularly, the owner runs the risk that it will deteriorate significantly.

“Problems like damp and mould – which might be relatively simple to rectify if spotted early – might end up being expensive to repair if early warning signs are missed.”

Radical reform of the private rented sector

The Bill was introduced in May and had its Second Reading in October and has been described as the most radical reform of the private rented sector (PRS) in a generation.

Among the controversial proposals is for the removal of Section 21 – so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions – although this measure has been put on hold until reform of the courts process.

The Government says it aims to deliver a fairer, more secure and higher quality PRS.

Other measures include creating a new register of landlords, a property portal to include all privately rented housing, the introduction of a Decent Homes Standard and establishing an ombudsman for the resolution of disputes between tenants and landlords.

Professional inventory and regular inspections

Mr Lyons said: “Never has a professional inventory and regular inspections been so important for landlords.

“If there is no detailed, accurate and reliable record in place at the beginning of a tenancy, how can landlords establish any form of deterioration beyond wear and tear and therefore seek redress through one of the deposit schemes?

“Higher mortgage rates and tougher affordability criteria have made it difficult for would-be buyers to get a foot on the property ladder, so they are staying longer in rented properties.”

He adds: “To protect their investment, landlords should put regular inspections in place to support the detailed, professional inventory which the tenant must sign before they move in.”


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Comments

Puzzler

14:48 PM, 9th December 2023, About 3 months ago

All my lets go periodic and are inspected every six months

David

15:01 PM, 9th December 2023, About 3 months ago

Seriously! Are you saying landlords won't be able to timetable inspections if they don't know when the tenancy is due to end? Top tip - you start with the move-in dare and put them in your diary for every 3 months after that.
There are several reasons why the banning of fixed term tenancies will be a problem for many landlords, but I dont think this is one of them.

Reluctant Landlord

11:36 AM, 11th December 2023, About 2 months ago

i've thought of this from a different angle.

At present councils are trying to get private LL to take on those on thier housing list. Councils say where they have agreed the have a duty to rehouse, they also demand a 1 or 2 year min term tenancy from the LL.
At present this in conflict with the LA own guidelines which states councils must be sure that the LL can provide a MIN 6 months.

Once fixed terms are scrapped, how can they legally insist on ANY min period at all?

Stella

13:44 PM, 11th December 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Reluctant Landlord at 11/12/2023 - 11:36
It will be time consuming and expensive when there is not at least a fixed term of six months.
If the tenant does not have to stay for more than a month just think of how often we might have the expense of advertising, issuing new contracts, deposit protection, inventories down time in between tenancies.

It will also mitigate the need for Airbnb.

We will all be disadvantaged not just Student landlords!

Why are they trying to fix something that is not broken?

Old Mrs Landlord

23:00 PM, 12th December 2023, About 2 months ago

You don't say! It has been blindingly obvious from the publication of the Bill that tenancies which can only be ended at the will of the tenant when combined with the loss of any mandatory grounds for removal of anti-social tenants, has the propensity to leave landlords lumbered for many years with a tenant who is a nasty piece of work unless he/she commits an offence for which there is mandatory eviction. This could force the landlord to sell if pressure from neighbours becomes intolerable. A six-month initial trial fixed term would at least give an indication of the character and behaviour of the tenant, but as the Reform Bill stands landlords will simply be obliged to hand their asset worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to a total stranger for an indefinite period.

Freda Blogs

9:56 AM, 13th December 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 12/12/2023 - 23:00Indeed - so why would we continue to be landlords?
Speaking personally, I am unwilling to be dictated to by Government in this way and risk having my hard-earned assets removed from my control and handed to someone who can do as they please in my property and disregard my rights, with no adherence to the contract terms (including payment of rent), yet face no sanction for such failings.
Meanwhile should I as a Landlord step out of line with even the most minor of errors, I could face fines of £000s.
It is lunacy by the Government to think that such a regime will have the support of Private Landlords who they expect to step into the shoes of Social Landlords offering security of tenure etc.
This Landlord will not be doing so. I've sold up most of my properties. Money is in the bank and I'm enjoying the freedom from tenant demands!

Reluctant Landlord

11:48 AM, 13th December 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 12/12/2023 - 23:00
I understand this completely but the LL could stand their ground rightfully so on the basis that legally there is no compulsion for the LL to request possession of their property if this situation were to occur.

They would inevitably give the tenant legal notice, but really that is all they can do until the court grants possession.

Should the council in accordance with the Police not now take action themselves if they are being blasted by neighbours complaining? They can't show that the LL is not taking the matter seriously...

Might actually make for a quicker eviction??

Old Mrs Landlord

9:05 AM, 14th December 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Reluctant Landlord at 13/12/2023 - 11:48
Most neighbours who are victims are too intimidated to complain for fear of reprisals.

Reluctant Landlord

9:47 AM, 14th December 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 14/12/2023 - 09:05
agree...but they can at least get the local councillor or MP on side if this is the case. A landlord approaching the same is simply ignored.
A call to the local rag by the neighbours too can elicit action.

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