In a blog published by Property Reporter, Paul Shamplina, who also works as director and brand ambassador for Hamilton Fraser, has highlighted the importance of landlords keeping up with sector changes to stay on the right side of the industry.
When Landlord Redress comes into effect, which Shamplina believes is likely to happen in the near future, landlords will be forced to be “accountable, responsive and more compliant when renting out a property”, but rather than viewing this as an attack on the industry, he recognises the benefits of such a move.
Consider using a managing agent
Shamplina writes: “It’s tough enough working full time, being a parent, running your own house etc. So, if you simply do not have the time to be a professional landlord, find a tenant, deal with all the compliance paperwork, arrange an inventory and handle regular communication with your tenant(s), I strongly advise you to use a managing agent. When choosing who to use, make sure they belong to a redress scheme, hold Client Money Protection and belong to a trade body such as ARLA or NALS.”
In recent years, “accidental landlords” have become a major part of the private rented sector, often resulting from situations such as being unable to sell a property while needing to move, or relocation for job purposes while retaining a property elsewhere. However, a direct result of this has been that many landlords simply do not have enough knowledge of the industry, including legislation which can change frequently.
Landlords struggle to keep up
“The problem with the private rented sector is that for many, ‘landlording’ started off as a lucrative hobby, not a job,” Shamplina states.
“As the sector has grown, it has become entirely necessary to put some policies in place to protect the consumer and raise standards, just as a business would have in place for its employees and/or customers. However, legislation has come so thick and fast that many landlords have struggled to keep up and have not recognised the need to educate themselves.”
He points out that there are currently 176 rules and regulations in existence for landlords, and these must all be learned by landlords who want to manage their own properties, with building good relationships with tenants a key starting point.
Join a landlords association
He also advises all landlords to join landlords associations, which are a valuable resource for information and advice when needed.
Shamplina writes: “The Government want landlords to be more professional, which is great, but we have 1.8 million landlords and of these, not even 10% belong to Landlords Associations. Whilst we do not know the number of properties manged by agents, we do know there are a lot of landlords DIYing.”
Concluding, Shamplina says: “This is a business, approach it like a business, rather than a weekend hobby. No more excuses, please.”