The £399,684 Ticking Time Bomb for Chipping Norton Landlords
“I just love looking over and keeping up to date the 108 pieces of legislation that govern the rental of residential property in the UK”
...No Chipping Norton Landlord, ever
If you are one of the 138 Chipping Norton landlords that manages your own property, would it surprise you to know that there are 108 separate pieces of legislation that govern the rental of private houses to tenants? Oh, and on top of the 108 pieces of law, there are a further 300+ regulations in the mix. Whilst Chipping Norton landlords may once have preferred to manage their Chipping Norton buy-to-let properties themselves to boost their profits, many Chipping Norton landlords are starting to see this as a false economy.
In the last four years an additional 53 landlords in Chipping Norton have converted from self-managed to having their property managed by a letting agent in the town, taking the total number of properties under management in Chipping Norton to 216 (out of a total of 354 private local rental properties).
Now, don’t get me wrong, self-managing your Chipping Norton rental property can be a very fulfilling experience, allowing you as a Chipping Norton landlord to build a deep relationship with your tenant and your emergency 24 hour plumber, your builder (happy to do small jobs at a drop of a hat), your decorators, be on first name terms with your deposit provider, your lawyer and your EPC provider………….. to name but a few. (Wow!)
Also, did you know that if your tenant’s 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 Chipping Norton being £965, each self-managed landlord in the town could be fined £2,895 per tenancy if the deposit isn’t currently registered. Therefore…...
.....if every deposit of every Chipping Norton self-managed landlord’s property wasn’t registered, the total fines would amount to £399,684
Now of course, I am not suggesting for one moment that all the self-managed local landlords haven’t registered their deposits yet, almost on a daily basis, I come across horror stories to that effect. Another two (but by no means all) hot issues that the Courts are cracking down on, are 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 will not 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 ..… as those additional Chipping Norton landlords mentioned above have done since 2014. You might say, “Of course you are going to say all this – you are a Letting Agent”. Well the choice really comes down to your time and your knowledge. If a Chipping Norton landlord is not equipped, or able, to devote time keeping up-to-date of legislation and law nor doesn’t want to be bothered 24/7/365 about a blown light bulb, dripping taps, have that confrontational conversation with their tenants about missing rental payments, or arbitrate arguments and disagreements between your tenant and the neighbours, it is perhaps better to pass this accountability/responsibility on to a letting agent.
One thing I would say is all letting agents aren’t the same. Would it surprise you to know that letting agents aren’t regulated?
Chipping Norton landlords that do 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.
Nevertheless, for those Chipping Norton landlords that see their job as a professional landlord and want to be intricately involved in the day to day administration of their rental properties, it can be worthy pursuit.
If you are a self-managed landlord in Chipping Norton and want to know if your paperwork is in order please feel free to drop me a line and I am more than happy to do an ‘MOT’ on it to ensure you are keeping on the right side of the law.
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