“I just love looking over and keeping up to date the 100+ pieces of legislation that govern the rental of residential property in the UK” said no South Yorkshire landlord ever!
If you manage your own rental property in Sheffield or Rotherham, would it surprise you know that there are 108 separate pieces of legislation that govern the rental of private houses to tenants?! And on top of the 108 pieces of law, there are further 300+ regulations that are added in to the mix. Whilst landlords may once have preferred to manage their buy-to-let properties themselves to boost their profits, many landlords are starting to see this as a false economy.
In the last four years, an additional 812 landlords in Rotherham have converted from self-managed to having their property managed by a letting agent like Bricknells Rentals, taking the total number of properties under management in Rotherham to 3,304 (out of a total of 5,416 private rental properties in Rotherham).
Now, don’t get me wrong, self-managing your rental property can be a very fulfilling experience, allowing you, as a landlord, to build a deep relationship with your tenant and your emergency 24 hour plumber, builder (happy to do small jobs at a drop of a hat), decorators, first name terms with their deposit provider, lawyer and EPC provider to name but a few.
Furthermore, did you know if your tenants deposit isn’t registered, or doesn’t continue to be registered after the end the periodic tenancy upon renewal … you could be fined up to three times your deposit? With the average rental deposit in Rotherham being £915, each self-managed landlord in Rotherham could be fined £2,745 per tenancy if the deposit isn’t currently registered.
We’ve done some calculations and we’ve worked out that…
…if every deposit of every Rotherham self-managed landlord’s property wasn’t registered, the total fines would amount to £5,798,099
Now of course, I am not suggesting for one minute all the self-managed landlords in our area haven’t registered their deposits. Yet almost on a daily basis, we do come across horror stories to that effect.
Another two (but by no means all) hot issues that the courts are cracking down on include doing immigration ‘Right To Rent’ checks on all tenants (yes, all tenants) and confirmation proving the tenant received the ‘How to Rent’ guide. If that second issue cannot be proved (a ‘sent’ email won’t suffice), the landlord cannot serve the section 21 Notice, meaning the tenant cannot be served notice to vacate the property.
To many, it’s really a case of DIY or getting a qualified professional in… which is why so many of those aforementioned Rotherham landlords have asked letting agents to manage their properties since 2014.
How can Bricknells Rentals assist you?
You might say, “Of course you are going to say all this – Bricknells Rentals are a letting agent!”
At the end of the day, the choice really comes down to your time and your knowledge. If a landlord is not equipped or able to devote time keeping up-to-date of legislation and law, nor doesn’t want to be bothered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year about a blown light bulb, dripping taps, missing rental payments or the requirement to arbitrate arguments and disagreements between tenants and neighbours, it is perhaps better to pass this accountability/responsibility onto a letting agent.
One thing we always underline is that letting agents aren’t all the same. Would it surprise you to know that letting agents aren’t regulated? How do you know which one to trust?
Landlords that do already use a letting agent should not forget that passing over management to a letting agent doesn’t mean they can disregard legislation and they are still responsible for deposit/rent repayment legal directives, civil fines or action if the letting agent makes a mistake. Therefore, it’s important to pick a respectable letting agent from the start. That’s where Bricknells can come in and help. Our vast experience has made a difference to so many landlords in Rotherham and Sheffield.
If you are a self-managed landlord in Rotherham, and want to know if your paperwork is in order please feel free to drop us a line – we are more than happy to ensure that you are the right side of the law. Similarly, if there are any questions about the above article, we’re happy to provide answers. Get in touch here.