A new report has suggested that the diverse nature of landlords makes it almost impossible to fully communicate new rules and legislation.
The study, entitled ‘Who are individual landlords providing private rented accommodation?’ was penned by industry expert Kate Faulkner, with assistance from the TDS Charitable Foundation. This organisation works to further education on housing rights and legal obligations.
Results from the survey found that many landlords have varying professions alongside their work as an investor. Teachers, doctors, librarians and army officers were just a few roles of landlords completing the survey.
40% of respondents to the investigation said that they were ‘accidental landlords.’ Whilst trying their upmost to do right by their tenants, many of these landlords are left confused by changing legislation. Worryingly, one in five respondents were found to do no research before letting out a property.
Kate Faulkner believes that the private rental sector should work more closely to inform landlords on legislation and in turn create a safer sector.
She noted, ‘there are currently 145 lettings rules and regulations on letting. Not only do they seem to be changing all the time but they can vary from one local authority to another. It’s no wonder landlords are confused and struggle to keep up with the law, particularly if they are letting out property in another part of the country to where they live.’
Faulkner has called for those in the private rental sector, such as lenders, letting agents and local authorities, to collaborate, in order to provide landlords with the tools needed to let a property legally.
‘We would like to see the private rented sector working together to promote trusted and consistent sources of information about preparing a property to let legally, about changes in the law, property maintenance and of course, where to turn for independent, qualified advice, Faulkner stated.
‘However, because landlords are such a diverse group of people and with many self-managing their properties, it makes it extremely difficult to communicate with them, unless they actively seek out information for themselves . Even if they do their own research about rules and regulations, it can be still be confusing and the report suggests experienced landlords struggle too. This is why they need a clear source of information they can turn to,’ she continued.
Concluding, Faulkner said, ‘in addition, to encourage best practice, we would also like to see the Government introduce incentives for landlords to stay within the law, such as tax breaks or special deals which reward those that are renting legally and safely.’