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Freedays Property Services

Letting & Property Management in Leeds

Unique, Professional and Personal



Posted on October 27, 2016 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (1197)

There are few days that go by without me seeing some negative press about scumbag, rip-off landlords, or negligent agents failing in their duty of care and charging exorbitant fees, or tenants not paying their rent and wrecking properties.
The British Press just can’t resist having a pop, because we love a good story that blames someone else for the wrongs in our society.
So, here’s a novel approach to all that negativity, a positive spin on the rental market!
Did you know that the vast majority of landlords are really quite nice people? Yes, it’s true! Sure they own property to rent out, and yes, it’s an investment. They hope for long term capital growth and cashflow from the rental income. Do they do it because they are greedy, money grabbing, heartless people? Absolutely not. They are simply looking for somewhere to invest their savings and do their bit to help with the cronic housing shortage in this country.
Look, I’m not so naïve to think there is not a small minority who give landlords a bad name, but show me an industry which is squeeky clean from top to bottom.
I am pleased that the landlords whose properties I manage, want to look after their tenants by providing a home that is in good order, sorting repairs and maintenance quickly and efficiently, and ensuring they meet their legal responsibilities.
They delegate much of this responsibility to a local agent who will charge a fee to the landlord for executing these duties. The agent will also be expected to find suitable tenants who will have been referenced and credit checked, and who will have been furnished with all appropriate paperwork under current housing regulations prior to keys being handed over. Post check in, the agent will manage the property, ensure that rent is paid on time and handed over to the landlord. I am always saddened when I hear of agents who act in an unprofessional manner towards their landlords and tenants. Ultimately they will lose business and their reputation. I have no sympathy I’m afraid!
Tenants will expect a nice tidy, clean home to move in to, and will expect that any repairs and maintenance issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently by the agent. Tenants who feel listened to, and who see that the landlord and agent are doing their best to look after them and their home, will be happy tenants, who will hopefully become long term tenants. Yes, there will always be the odd rogue tenant who slips through the net and causes problems. That is part of the risk that landlords and agents sign up for.
There is no doubt in my mind though that BAD landlords, BAD agents, and BAD tenants are often attracted to each other!
So, that being the case, then the opposite must be true as well. The power of attraction is indeed very POWERFUL!
I am proud of the fact that at Freedays Property I get existing tenants recommending my services to their friends and families; that existing tenants who need to move want to stay with my agency; and that previous tenants who have perhaps moved away and returned to the area, call me first to see if I have anything suitable for them to rent.
In conclusion as to why LANDLORDS, AGENTS and TENANTS need each other, here are a few bullet points:
* LANDLORDS need AGENTS who will act ethically, honestly and professionally, and they need TENANTS who will pay their rent on time, look after their property and treat it as their own home
* AGENTS need LANDLORDS who will keep their properties in good order and who understand and comply with their legal responsibilities, and TENANTS who pay their rent on time and look after the property and treat it as their own home, complying with the terms of their tenancy agreement
* TENANTS need LANDLORDS and AGENTS to provide rental properties for them to live in, and who will deal with issues swiftly and efficiency, and who charge reasonable fees and rents
The rental market should be a market that is based on (GOOD!) RELATIONSHIPS between the 3 main parties involved. If this can be fostered and maintained, then it is a
situation all round. Simples!!!
Malcolm Loveday
Freedays Property Services


Posted on June 20, 2016 at 7:23 AM Comments comments (330)
There have been a raft of new regulations hitting Landlords and Letting Agents in the past few years, and it can be difficult to keep up to scratch with all the changes.

As a Landlord you are responsible for ensuring that your properties meet the current standards as defined in The Housing Act. If you engage the services of a Letting Agent to manage your property, you need to be sure that they know what they are doing, that they are keeping abreast of any new regulations, and are ensuring that you are fully aware of any upgrades that might be needed. (100)

You might be shocked by the number of agents that are either ignorant of, or choose to ignore, even the most basic of measures that are required to keep your tenants safe in their homes. (35)

So, let's start with some basics, some of the things you will (hopefully!) already know about:

1) You are legally bound to have an annual gas safety check done by a Gas Safe engineer who will issue a Gas Safety Certificate. Items that will be checked include any gas boiler or water heater, gas cookers/hobs, and gas fires. A copy of the certificate should be given to the tenant prior to them moving in.

2) You must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for each property that you let. These are valid for 10 years. From 1st April 2018 all rental properties must have a minimum performance rating of 'E'. A copy of the EPC must be supplied to a prospective tenant free of charge.

3) If you take a deposit from a tenant under an assured shorthold tenancy, the deposit must be protected under one of the three tenancy deposit schemes and the prescribed information regarding the deposit must be given to the tenant within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

4) Landlords in England are required to provide smoke alarms on every floor of their property and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room with a solid fuel source. (200)

5) As from the 1st October 2015 landlords are required to provide tenants with the most up to date copy of How to rent: the checklist for renting in England  If they haven't they will not be able to serve a valid Section 21 notice in England.

More on compliance and regulations in the next blog post.

Malcolm Loveday / Freedays Property 14.06.2016