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Landlords need protection against rogue tenants

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Shelter has come up with some shocking statistics about the rental market in London.  

Landlords need protection against rogue tenantsThe homeless charity claims that around a quarter of London’s population rent from private landlords and that number will increase over the next four years.

Property prices in the UK will jump 23% over the next four years, according to Shelter. And by 2020 first-time buyers in London will not only need an annual salary of £106,000 to take out a mortgage but will have to save £138,000 to put down a deposit on a property.

As the private rental sector in London grows, the government is increasing the amount of legislation that landlords will have to comply with.

The Housing and Planning Bill moved a step closer to receiving Royal Assent earlier this month when MPs started going through the amendments recommended by the House of Lords.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis claims this heavyweight piece of legislation will lead to the “professionalisation” of the private rental sector by introducing greater penalties for rogue landlords.

When the Housing and Planning Bill becomes law, it will give local housing authorities in England the power to…  

  • Ban and fine criminal landlords and letting agents;
  • Introduce rent repayment orders; and
  • Establish and maintain a database of blacklisted landlords and agents.

Assetgrove welcomes all measures that stamp out the tiny minority of rogue landlords and letting agents, but more could be done to highlight the issue of problem tenants.

Screening test

The best way to guard against problem tenants is to carry out in-depth screening before issuing an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement.

We are aware void periods are among a landlord’s worst fears, but the loss of a few weeks’ rental income can save time, money and distress in the long run by ensuring the right tenant moves in from the start.

The tenant screening process should include taking up references and a face-to-face interview with every person who will be living in the rental property.

Bear in mind, however, that the new Housing and Planning Act will place a moral obligation on landlords to consider the safety of residents in neighbouring properties, particularly if the rental home is part of a block of flats.

Even if a landlord’s detailed background checks do not arouse suspicion, good tenants can turn bad.

If complaints about property damage or antisocial behaviour come back to a landlord, these issues can often be resolved by issuing a politely-worded verbal warning or written request.

And if that does not do the trick, it can be followed up with a mild warning backed up by an official letter.

The shortage of good homes available for rent in London means the vast majority of tenants treat rental properties with great care. Keeping lines of communication open and displaying a little understanding can usually resolve the majority of problems that a landlord can experience when running a rental property.

However, this can take time, money and result in unnecessary stress.

Imagine a world with no voids, no late night calls from tenants and no dealing with viewings or lettings.

Assetgrove’s Guaranteed Rent Scheme takes care of everything, and we provide you with a fixed guaranteed rental income for up to five years. This means you can get on enjoying your life, leaving us to look after your property as if it were our own.

To learn more about all the services that Assetgrove offers landlords, contact us today.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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