For landlords, there was a time when a good lettings agent simply had three main roles: to market the property effectively; to collect the rent; and to take care of issues such as dripping taps and flaky paint.
But life was simpler then. Today, being a landlord is like operating in any other business, with all the demands that come with laws and rules. For this reason, a lot of our time in Aylesford’s Lettings division is spent supporting our clients with meticulous attention to detail.
If you’re a landlord, we keep abreast of all new legislation on your behalf and can carry out every check and action for you. This is important because there are heavy penalties for landlords who don’t comply, and ignorance of those laws is never a defence.
Should your tenants even be here?
The latest piece of legislation is driven by the Immigration Act. Essentially, it’s to make sure that all of the adult tenants living in your property have a legal right to reside in the UK.
For any new tenancy (starting after 1 February 2016) the landlord or their agent must check that all adults living in that property are allowed to be there. In practice, this means carrying out a face to face interview, to check all passports and any required visas, and to take reasonable steps to make sure all documentation is genuine.
This is something Aylesford can carry out for you and, observing a further requirement, take copies and retain them for at least 12 months after the end of the tenancy.
Keeping you legal
Other new laws and rights have also surfaced in the last year. For example, tenants now have the right to refer landlords to the local authority if they have genuine complaints about the condition of a property. Landlords also have a more straightforward path to follow if they have legal reason to remove a tenant.
Landlords must also be aware of recent laws requiring both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and to have these tested before the start of a new tenancy.
As specialists, these (and all the other) regulations are routine to us, and we continue to monitor the legal landscape as it produces new demands.
In volatile times, letting prime property in central London remains an attractive part of many investment strategies. For our landlords, the support of Aylesford’s services means knowing that they are always on the right side of the law.