Latest Landlord News by: Madalena Penny
The current lack of available housing stock resulting in demand for rental accommodation has paved the way for the return of the reluctant landlord along with new investors looking for long-term growth in the BTL sector as opposed to investing into pension schemes.
The most widely offered tenancy, the AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy), which can be freely downloaded and accessed from the Internet is sometimes not enough to protect landlords from the pitfalls if tenants run amok. Extra protection and clauses can be included in tenancies to prevent tenants from falling fowl of unwanted behaviour.
Legal teams responding to landlord enquiries have seen a rise in the number of new residential landlords entering the sector. The financial-savvy investors are boxing clever through Below Market Value (BMV) properties bought at auction. Although most vacant properties are let within days of advertising, inexperienced landlords acting independently and without letting agent services require advice and help on the practicalities of letting a residential property. Other than defaulting tenants and rent arrears, landlords need to be on the ball when it comes to entrepreneurial tenants and DIY enthusiasts as one landlord in particular found out.
At their Warrington based HQ, call center staff at Legal 4 Landlords have had some interesting queries posed to them by landlords, including:
- A tenant who decided to repaint the kitchen cupboards, resulting in £825 worth of damage;
- Subletting, where tenants take in lodgers or alternatively re-rent the property and marking up the rent;
- Houses and flats used as brothels, massage parloursand cannabis farms;
- One house was used as storage for motorcycle parts, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage to carpets and redecoration costs;
- One tenant actually knocked through a dividing and supporting wall without using any structural support causing thousands of pounds worth of building reconstruction and redecoration.
- The same tenant attempted to install a walk in shower in his bedroom and flooded the place.
(The very same tenant in Merseyside also received a serious burn when he electrocuted himself when attempting to hook up some wall lights.) The well-meaning tenant believed his DIY efforts would be beneficial to his landlord and would raise the value of the property…Ah Bless! (Interestingly, the landlord did not evict the tenant but temporarily re-housed him until the property could be made safe again.)
Obviously, this tenant should receive some sort of award, however it does serve a purpose……That Landlords Should Always State Clauses In Their Tenancies!