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It may seem as though landlords have had to contend with new or updated legislation on a very regular basis in recent times, and this has left many professionals frustrated. Being a landlord can be a difficult task and it is harder when you have to stay in touch with so many new pieces of legislation. However, it is essential to do so and in 2017, there has been some new legislation passed with respect to rogue landlords, and this new legislation will hopefully improve the industry. Many landlords will have a strong opinion on their local council but the fact that these local council authorities now have more power to deal with rogue landlords has to be seen as a positive thing. There is a need to make the industry safer, for landlords and tenants, and if it is possible to clamp down on the people who cause problems for the industry, so much the better. This does mean that law-abiding landlords need to stay up to date with legislation to ensure that they aren't breaking any rules or laws in ignorance but as long as this can be accounted for, the whole industry should move forward with confidence. In April of 2017, legislation was put in place which allows local council authorities to impose fines of up to 30,000 on rogue landlords. Given that this money can be utilised for housing enforcement purposes by the council, there is an incentive for action to be taken by local council authorities. This is an important step because it should ensure that there is a greater attention to rogue landlords and their activities.

Local councils can target rogue landlords in many ways now

Another improvement comes in the fact that rogue landlords can now target rogue landlords in more ways, including having a greater variety of options in imposing rent repayments. It used to be that a landlord was most likely to face this style of order if they held an unlicensed property but there is now a lot more scope for local council authorities to act these days. Rogue landlords can be targeted if they undertake illegal evictions, if they harass tenants, if they use violence to gain access to the property or if they have been in breach of a banning order. With many more reasons to punish rogue landlords, there should be more action being taken by local council authorities.

Local councils can target rogue landlords in many ways now

Another improvement comes in the fact that rogue landlords can now target rogue landlords in more ways, including having a greater variety of options in imposing rent repayments. It used to be that a landlord was most likely to face this style of order if they held an unlicensed property but there is now a lot more scope for local council authorities to act these days. Rogue landlords can be targeted if they undertake illegal evictions, if they harass tenants, if they use violence to gain access to the property or if they have been in breach of a banning order. With many more reasons to punish rogue landlords, there should be more action being taken by local council authorities.

Change can bring benefits in the lettings industry

It is essential that existing landlords understand the implications of these changes and that they make improvements at their properties. However, if a landlord is seen as providing a dependable and reliable service for their tenants, they will likely prosper and hopefully these changes will bring about widespread changes in the letting industry in the UK. There have also been changes with respect to the access local councils have with respect to information and data relating to deposit protection schemes. This will hopefully provide a better understanding of who is operating in the market and where to contact tenants and landlords. The rental market is hugely important in the UK these days and it is likely to become more important in years to come. This is why it is essential that landlords are accountable and that bad or poor quality landlords are held to account. It is vital that all landlords review their operations and provide the best standard of service possible and the increased focus on rogue landlords will hopefully help the entire industry to prosper.

New Tenants: What You Need To Know

While new tenants move into property all year round, there is no denying that autumn is a busy time of year for new tenants. The start of the new academic year means many students are taking up residence in a new property and there are also many reasons why a lot of people decide to make a change at the end of summer. This means that there will be many new tenants at this time of year and there are many things a new tenant needs to know. It is important that a tenant carries out research on their property and the local area. While some tenants will have more flexibility than others, and some people may need to find any available accommodation at short notice, it is vital for tenants to consider what they need from a property. Do they need to stay in a certain location to be close to education facilities or work, do they need certain facilities in the local area and is there anything that will make their life easier. Having a list of things that are essential to have in and around the property will speed up the process for a new tenant.

New tenants have to be prepared

In order to speed up the process of looking for property, and to show that you are committed to being a tenant, there are a number of things a prospective tenant should offer to a landlord: " A proof of employment or education " A proof of income " Identification " If you have a copy of your credit report available, you can provide this as well Having these documents to hand can speed up the process of moving in, and this will help with the landlord. It shows that you are an organised person and it may be that a landlord who has a choice between two similar potential tenants will opt for the one that is making their life easier

Know your budget and the full cost of renting

When it comes to being a new tenant, you may be shocked at how much money it costs. There are a number of up-front costs and then there are regular monthly costs which need to be met. This is why you need to undertake a review of your finances and create a budget which clearly shows what you can afford to pay. Up-front costs include the deposit, the first month's rent and you may need to pay for removal services to move your belongings into the home. You will also want to arrange home insurance very quickly too. There are also costs you need to take care of on a monthly basis including your rent, council tax, utility bills, phone and broadband bills, home insurance and then you have bills like travel costs, food, drink, clothes and entertainment. These all add up and it is vital that you have enough money to pay for everything. Ideally, you should create a budget first and then determine where you can afford to live, as this should make the process a lot simpler and straightforward for you.

Be aware of the terms and conditions

A new tenant will receive terms and conditions before they move into a property and while you will likely be excited about moving into the property, it is essential that you fully review the terms and conditions and that you are happy with what is contained within it. This lease should detail how much rent you have to pay each month and when, who shall take responsibility for repairs and what, if any, financial considerations are made for work carried out. The lease will also include important information relating to the security deposit, including information regarding its return and where it is being held. A great number of disputes between tenants and landlords arise due to miscommunication or the tenant not knowing what they are responsible for, so before you agree to move into property, review the terms and conditions. If you are not happy with the terms and conditions, continue looking for another property. As a tenant, you are entitled to privacy and a landlord should provide notice when they intend to visit the property. This works both ways and you should provide respect to your landlord, only contacting them when you need to do so. If new tenants treat the property and landlord with respect, it is likely they will receive respect in return, and this makes for a more harmonious property. Being a new tenant can be highly exciting but if you want to make the best out of this period of your life, make sure you know what to expect and how to conduct yourself.

Published on 18 September 2017

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