December 31, 2019
Can You Afford To Get It Wrong?
Can You Afford To Get It Wrong?
Over the past 6 or so months I have seen a dramatic increase in the number of properties being advertised by landlords on Facebook themselves. Facebook has seen massive growth in properties being advertised on the “marketplace” and I feel it’s posed to over the bigger portals within the next few years (hear me now, believe me later). With OnTheMarket now publishing content for agents on Facebook as well as its own portal the number of properties advertised on Facebook has sky rocket, and it now seems that DIY landlords are doing the same in a bid to save themselves pounds. Whilst I understand their reasoning, with the majority of agents upping their marketing fee since the tenant fee ban in June 2019, many landlords are now causing more problems for themselves that solving by biting off more than they can chew. This has caused a number of problems firstly, the number of scams on “marketplace” is crazy, tenants please, please, please never pay a holding deposit before even viewing a property you will not have a shiny new home and you certainly won’t have a deposit anymore. But more frequent than that the number of badly and incorrectly adverted properties. I’ve always kept an eye on property portals locally and national to observe trends and cycles but now more so Facebook than other bigger portals, and well, if I had a pound for every property listed wrong or illegally I would probably be sitting smug, sipping a cold beer, on a white beach somewhere in the Caribbean. This got me thinking, if so many landlords are getting it wrong before they’ve even started what else are getting wrong? So with this in mind I thought it would be a good idea to list some of things that are needed prior to moving a tenant in and the cost of getting it wrong.
· Energy Performance Certificate Breach (EPC) – £200 for not having one and up to £150,000 for not meeting the minimum requirement of band E.
· No How To Rent Guide – Loss of ability to serve a valid notice.
· No Gas Certificate – Invalid landlord insurance, up to £6,000 fine, six months in prison, court again by tenants for civil damages and a manslaughter charge if the tenant was to die as result.
· No Smoke Alarm / Carbon Monoxide Alarm – Up to a £5,000 fine and a manslaughter charge if the tenant was to die as result.
· Failure to Register a Deposit – All deposits for properties with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must register the deposit with one of the 3 recognised schemes. Falling to do so will land you with a fine of up to 3 times the deposit amount.
· Taking an Application Fee – From 1st June 2019 the “Tenant Fee Act” prohibited charging applications fees to tenants. If caught, the first offence is £5,000 per breach and £30,000 for any subsequence breaches.
· Not Meeting Fire Regulations – Following the Fire and Furniture Regulations of 1988 landlords must now make sure that all relevant furniture has the required labels and meet current standards. The penalty for getting it wrong: £5,000 per item.
Can you afford to get it wrong? That sunny beach might be a little further away if you get it wrong useless you manage to land yourself a cushty cell with a view. Unfortunately, ignorance isn’t always bliss, and whilst some might see this as a meaningless amount red tape aimed at costing landlords more it is the law and MUST be followed.
If you’re unsure about anything raised in the above, get in touch to speak to one of our Trading Standard Approved, ARLA Propertymark Qualified team today.