Did you know that, as a landlord, in order to be compliant, you have to adhere to over 140 Government statutes and regulations?
It’s worth noting that, even if you are employing a lettings agent on a fully managed basis, the buck stops with you. No one can divest a landlord of their responsibilities.
So if your property is not compliant and a case is brought against you by a tenant and/or council, then you could be fined a very significant amount of money.
A recent case highlights this point.
Landlord Jeffrey Hu was recently successfully prosecuted by Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and fined £200K after being found to have inadequately managed two properties, which were described by council officers as being in a “pretty dreadful state”.
On inspecting the property, council officials found a dangerous electric cooker hob which had exposed live electrical cable and a charred board underneath. The electric cable had been bodged together with tape, posing a risk of electrocution.
Officers also found unsafe and rotten bedroom balcony guarding which, with further deterioration increased the risk of someone falling, at least 16ft from the second floor.
At Northwood, we have a whole team dedicated to keeping up with the latest legislation, ensuring our landlords are compliant, and therefore mitigating their risk of being prosecuted and fined.
And if our landlords do get into difficulty with tenants in a legal context, such as rent arrears, or other issues, our in-house Legal Services team are experts in Landlord & Tenant law and between them have in excess of 40 years’ experience of working in this area.
Did you know that, if you have not protected the tenant’s deposit correctly and served the prescribed information, you will not be able to issue a Section 21 notice to your tenant? It is this kind of detail, often that amateur landlords lack, which trips them up and causes them financial loss, not to mention emotional stress!
Rouge landlord Suhail Mahmood was convicted at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court and was told to pay fines totalling £3,700.00 for what was deemed an illegal eviction.
The landlord was prosecuted by Sheffield City Council, after telling one of his tenants to move out and subsequently removing and changing locks only days later.
Mr Mahmood was told to pay £700 in tenant compensation, fined £2,000 and £1,000 in court costs.
When it comes to the legal aspects of renting a property, we believe it is vital that landlords are compliant. We have already mentioned the threats of fines of non-compliance, which are notable, but even more important is a tenant’s health and wellbeing while in your rental property.
You are legally obliged to provide a safe and compliant property and ignorance of the law is never an excuse if a case is brought against you.
By the same token, you need to do everything “by the book” if you are using the law with regards to the tenancy, as illustrated by the “illegal eviction” case above.
At Northwood, we have both sides covered, and our teams are there to support you.
If you are a Northampton landlord looking for a letting agent to support your landlord journey, ensuring compliance and assisting you with legal matters which will undoubtedly arise along the way, then get in contact with us here at Northwood Northampton, pop into our new office which you’ll find at Victoria Promenade (opposite Morrison’s) in Northampton, for a coffee and chat or call us using the same number 01604 607080.