Are you managing
your Rented Property
within the Law?

One of the top complaints made by landlords and agents is the constant and confusing changes in the law.

In the past few years we have had:

  • New laws on the ‘fitness’ of rented properties for human habitation
  • A widening of the HMO licensing rules
  • New rules prohibiting the charging of fees to tenants
  • New rules restricting the use of the no fault ‘section 21’ process
  • New rules on gas safety, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (with new electricity regulations planned), and
  • New, more oppressive penalties for non compliance.

Are you fully up to date with all these changes?

Investing in 'buy to let' still (despite the tax changes) gives a better return than many other investments. However this is only the case if you comply with all the rules.

If you fail to comply, and if the authorities decide to impose penalties, this could cost you thousands and put you out of business.

So what is the answer?

 If you are a landlord there are two main solutions:

  1. Put your property in the hands of a really good and reliable letting agent, or
  2. Self manage but ensure that you are fully up to date by doing regular training.

1. Using a good letting agent

Letting agent

This is the solution used by many landlords.  However – how can you be sure that your agents really know what they are doing? 

Some agents are wonderful. Others less so.

Also with the reduction in their fees due to the tenant fees ban, many will be looking to charge more fees to their landlords.  Can you afford them?

2. Managing your property yourself

Get this right and you can save large sums of money plus you will have the satisfaction that comes from taking control and being master of your own  destiny.

However if you make mistakes the authorities may seek to penalise you.  And the penalties can be very expensive.  

You can avoid this though by doing regular training and ensuring you are up to date

 If you are a letting agent or adviser:

  1. It is ESSENTIAL that you keep up to date.  Your clients are depending on you.
  2. Agents – you are also vulnerable to penalties along with your landlords if standards are not met – agents have been prosecuted in the past plus landlords can complain to your property redress scheme.
  3. Advisers – you can be sued for compensation if incorrect advice is given. 
  4. If you are an adviser at a Local Authority you have a statutory duty to provide proper and correct advice to landlords and tenants in your area.

Proper and regular training is vital.  But ...

The problem with training:

Doing training though is easier said than done:

  • It often involves travel to distant locations – which is costly both in time and in the travel cost itself
  • Training manuals are often filled with jargon and are difficult to read and absorb
  • Online training is more convenient – but the course material may be presented in a way which you personally find difficult to use
  • Or it may just be very boring.

Different people learn in different ways

If you learn best by watching videos – a text based course may not be good for you.  Or you may find it easier to learn if you actually do something – such as  answering questions  or moving blocks on a screen.

Help is at hand!

Developing a solution

I’m Tessa Shepperson, a specialist landlord & tenant lawyer.  For many years I ran my own solicitors firm and now I provide training and information services to landlords and letting agents.

Up to now, our training courses have mostly been recordings of face to face workshops with specialists along with the course handbooks and powerpoints used by the trainers.

However I have been concerned for a while that, although the workshops themselves work well as training events, people find the recordings and material less helpful.

I wanted to do something different.  Something that would make an online course easier to use and absorb.

So I have invested in new course creation software to allow me to make something more exciting for you.

This five part course is my first project and I hope you will enjoy it.  It will allow you to learn in the following ways:

The different teaching methods which will make this course material more fun and easier for you to learn:

  • Text on the page – as our surveys show that many people still find this one of the best ways of learning
  • Video clips – but often divided into short clips so you can just watch the part that interests you, without having to plough through a long recording (although we have some longer videos too)
  • Audio versions of some of the written text so you can listen as you read – another good way to learn
  • Specially recorded interviews with experts
  • Interactive mini-courses so you can click around to find the information you want
  • Pdf downloads – including separate written articles, as well as checklists and forms
  • ‘Knowledge checks’ – in various formats including multiple choice and matching blocks so you can test yourself
  • Visual ‘Scenarios’ where you answer questions put by our cyber characters such as Larry the Council Officer and Christy the trainer. 

Because of the variety of learning methods, the course will be more interesting – making it is easier for you to absorb and retain the material.  Helping you become a better landlord or agent.

The course as a whole is totally mobile responsible so you can learn on your desktop, tablet or even your smart phone.

Here are some more plus points:

Downloadable audios

Great if you like to listen in your car or while walking the dog

Filmed interviews

With experts - see below

Live webinars

At least one - to be announced later

Printable pdf versions

If you like to print out the material to hold in your hand while reading

Some great illustrations

Pictures make the material more approachable and somehow easier to read

Test yourself

Fun in-course tests as well as the formal CPD for those who want it

The Course is called 'Managing your Rented Property within the Law"

Written for both landlords and letting agents - housing advisers will find it valuable too (plus we can provide CPD).

The course is in five parts and you will be given access at fortnightly intervals.  The course material will remain online until the end of September 2020 giving you plenty of time to revisit it later.

Lets now take a look at what the Course Covers:

It is in five parts:

  • Part 1
    General Legal Issues
  • Part 2
    The Property Condition
  • Part 3
    Tenancy Agreements
  • Part 4
    Setting up the Tenancy
  • Part 5
    Ending the Tenancy

There is also an introductory section.

This course is far more than just an updating course

Here is an outline of the main content:

Introduction – you will get immediate access

  • Our HMO 101 course
  • The Tenancy / License mini course
  • Interviews with some of the trainers

This is also where we will put any additional bonus material we may provide later.

Part 1 : Background Information – you will get immediate access

  • Common law and Statute law – what they are and how they are made
  • Housing Law in Wales
  • Penalties (with civil and criminal penalties explained)
  • The different types of law
  • An introduction to tenancies and occupation types

The purpose of this section is to give everyone the legal background they will need to properly understand the rest of the course.

Part 2:  The Property Condition – you will get access 2 weeks after purchase

  • Disrepair and the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985
  • The Housing Health & Safety Rating System
  • Fitness for Habitation
  • Gas & other Safety regulations
  • Dealing with claims

The purpose of this section is to bring you up to date with the new rules you need to comply with to ensure that your property is safe, and to avoid penalties.

Part 3: Tenancy Agreements – you will get access 4 weeks after purchase

  • The elements of a tenancy agreements
  • Dealing with shared properties
  • Unfair terms and the consumer legislation
  • Using  tenancy agreement clauses to solve problems

The purpose of this section is to help you to understand your tenancy agreement and make it work for you,

Part 4: Setting up a Tenancy – you will get access 6 weeks after purchase

  • A step by step guide
  • Deposits and holding deposits
  • The Tenant Fees legislation

The purpose of this section is to give you a guide to work from so nothing is missed at this important stage.  It will include pdf checklists and forms.

Part 5: Ending Tenancies – you will get access 8 weeks after purchase

  • The different ways to end a tenancy
  • The service of documents
  • The top problems experienced by landlords when evicting tenants (and how to deal with them) – including dealing with property left behind

The purpose of this section is to inform you about the ending of a tenancy so you can take precautionary measures to ensure nothing goes wrong.

The course includes the following specially recorded interviews:

  • Two interviews with Housing Barrister and Deputy District Judge Robert Brown on housing case law and the Courts
  • Two interviews with solicitor Giles Peaker on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation Act) 2018 – Giles was part of the legal team which got the act through Parliament
  • An interview with Siobhan O’Reilly and Melissa Choules of Hamilton Fraser on insurance issues
  • A filmed discussion with Hamilton Fraser CEO  Eddie Hooke and Suzy Hershman of My Deposits on Alternative Deposit Solutions

There will also be a live webinar with Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action on eviction issues where he will also answer YOUR questions.  The date will be announced later.

See some clips below from the interviews:

This is the first part of our interview with solicitor Giles Peaker describing the process of getting the Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2018 through Parliament as a private members bill.

This is a clip from a talk by housing barrister and Deputy District Judge Robert Brown on case law.  In the rest of the talk, Robert looks at some important housing related cases.

This is a clip from a discussion with Eddie Hooker (CEO of Hamilton Fraser) and Suzy Hersham (head of Dispute Resolution at My Deposits) on alternative deposit products which will change the way you think of them forever …

More about the Course:

  • When you join you will get immediate access to the course dashboard
  • You will be able to visit the course parts from the  dashboard as they become available to you
  • You will also be notified by email
  • We will provide pdf versions of the main course material, although note videos and interactive mini-courses can only be viewed via the main online course
  • The CPD  questionnaires will be linked from the dashboard
  • There will be some extra bonus content, plus
  • There will be at least one live updating webinar (which will be recorded so you can still watch it if you are unable to attend)

If you have staff - note that you can buy additional places on the course (eg so they can claim the CPD) at a greatly reduced price

A Mobile Friendly Course

All our content is mobile responsive, which allows you to read and study the course easily, and watch the videos on most devices, including smart-phones and tablets.

The only parts of the course which are perhaps best dealt with on a laptop or desktop computer are the pdf documents – which you may prefer to print out. 

However, the course can easily be accessed, for example on your smart-phone, while travelling or waiting in a queue.

Be aware that the course is wholly electronic. Nothing is sent out by post.

Our guarantee to you

If you find the course is unsuitable for you in any way – all you need to do is email us requesting a cancellation not later than 21 days after purchase (or the date the course goes live if later) , giving your reason why.

We will then cancel your purchase (and your access) and refund your money within 14 days.

Your questions answered:

Q: What if I can’t access the course or if it does not work on my computer?
A: It should do, this software is designed for accessibility.  However, if you have a problem check out our support section, and/or contact us.  If the problems cannot be resolved, you can claim your money back under our guarantee. 

Note that you will  not be able to access all the course from the start as parts 2 – 5 will be made available at 2 week intervals.

Q: I am based in  Wales, can I use the course?
A: Yes  we state in the course where the law is different in Wales from that in England.  However if you are an experienced landlord note that there have been fewer changes in Wales so the course may be less valuable for you

Q: I am based in Scotland, can I use the course?
A: No. The course is written for rented properties in England or Wales UK only.  Scotland has a different legal system, as does Northern Ireland.  So it will not be suitable for you – sorry

Q: How long do I get access?
A: You will get access until 30 September 2020.  We do not give indefinite access as the law changes over time.

Q: I am a letting agent – is this course suitable for me?
A: Yes, the course is equally suitable for landlords and letting agents.

Q: How do I get the additional staff places at reduced cost?
A: They will be available to purchase after you have purchased your full price place.

Q: I am only interested in part of the course.  Can I pay less and just buy that part?
A: No, the course has been  designed as a whole.  The separate sections are not available individually.

Q: I am a Landlord Law member – do I need the course?
A: Landlord Law is not a training course.  This course content is mostly different from the Landlord Law material and it will help you use and understand Landlord Law better.

Q: Can I ask you questions about my particular issues?
A: The course does not include any ‘one to one’ advice element. However, if you are a Landlord Law member you will be able to ask questions via our members’ forum.

Q: I prefer not to pay online – can I pay by BACS or cheque?
A: We normally only accept payment via our online system (as this generates your access link).  However, you can elect to pay by either credit / debit card or pay pal.

Q: If I get the basic course  but then decide I would like the CPD version, can I upgrade?
A: Yes, but you will need to pay the difference between the two versions plus a £5 admin charge. To upgrade, contact us via the support section.

Q: How will I get to the course when I have bought it?
A: You will need to log in and then go to your ‘My Purchases’ page.  You will find a link to the course dashboard there.  Parts 2 – 5 will not be available at the start but will become available at 2 week intervals.

But why not try before you buy?

We have two  ‘proper’ courses which you can try totally free of charge.  So you can assess whether the full course is for you.

    Our Tenancy / License mini course

    This is the first course I created (with this new software) which explains the difference between a tenancy and a license.

    Our HMO 101 course

    A full and detailed introduction to HMO law and practice, containing video clips featuring David Smith at one of our workshops, and looking at the different types of HMO, licensing and management of HMOs, and enforcement issues.  Contains two exercises including a scenario with ‘Larry the Council Officer’.

    How to buy the course:

    • Click one of the buy now buttons
    • This will take you to the purchase page
    • PLEASE be VERY CAREFUL when inputting your email address as there may be access issues if you get this wrong
    • You can pay either by pay pal or by credit / debt card (the page just says credit card but you can use your debit card too)
    • Note that if you are a Landlord Law member you will be able to offset your Landlord Law ‘points’.
    • Once the payment goes through you will be granted immediate access to the course dashboard. You should also receive several emails – one will be a receipt for your payment, another will provide a link to the course dashboard

    There is also the option to pay by instalments of £100 per month.  So this will be 5 instalments for the CPD version and 4 instalments for the non CPD version.  This works as follows:

    • Your payments will appear as ‘subscription payments’ in Your Account
    • You will receive an initial receipt, emails for each staged payment (called renewal on the email) and an email when all payments are made
    • If you cancel the subscription before all payments are made, or if any of the stage payments are not paid, you will loose access to the course
    • If you have purchased any ‘additional places’ these will also be de-activated if any of the stage payments are not paid, until a full price course has been paid for.
    • Once all stage payments have been made you will have access until the course ends on 30 September 2020

    If you have any problems with the purchase process, get in touch – you will find a form you can use on the ‘basket’ page or on our contact page.

    All training courses are sold subject to our standard terms and conditions (the link will open in a new window or tab).

    Please now select one of the options below:

    Managing Property CPD

    Managing your Rented Property within the Law Course + CPD

    This includes the following:

    • Introductory content
    • Part 1 – General Legal Issues – immediate access
    • Part 2 -The Property Condition – access after 2 weeks
    • Part 3 – Tenancy Agreements – access after 4 weeks
    • Part 4 – Setting up the Tenancy – access after 6 weeks
    • Part 5 – Ending the Tenancy – access after 8 weeks

    Together with

    • Pdf versions of the main course material
    • Bonus material
    • At least one live webinar
    • Links to further material on the internet
    • 5 hours CPD by multiple choice questionnaire, CPD certificates will be provided when you pass the tests.

    Additional places can be bought for staff members needing CPD at a significantly lower cost.

    Price £500    (£416.67 + VAT)

    Additional places £100  per person

    NB Additional places are conditional upon all stages being paid if the full price is being paid by stages- payments

    Managing your Rented Property within the Law Course

    This includes the following:

    • Introductory content
    • Part 1 – General Legal Issues – immediate access
    • Part 2 – The Property Condition – access after 2 weeks
    • Part 3 – Tenancy Agreements – access after 4 weeks
    • Part 4 – Setting up the Tenancy – access after 6 weeks
    • Part 5 – Ending the Tenancy – access after 8 weeks

    Together with

    • Pdf versions of the main course material
    • Bonus material
    • At least one live webinar
    • Links to further material on the internet

    Additional places can be bought for staff members at a significantly lower cost.

    Price £400    (£333.33 + VAT)

    Additional places £80 per person 

    NB Additional places are conditional upon all stages being paid if the full price is being paid by stages- payments

    You will find links to purchase your additional places after you have purchased a full price place.

    Customer Feedback on the course:

    “This is a great way to quickly become appraised of the legal reasons for doing things a certain way. It is easy to read and covers the setting up of tenancies correctly, things to consider, and what to do in the event of disaster”

    Rene Crevel

    “Tessa provides a grounding and reference point for the Law that landlords should understand as a basis for being a professional and responsible landlord.”

    Neil Patterson, Property118

    See what customers have said about some of our other products and services:

    “This is a great way to quickly become appraised of the legal reasons for doing things a certain way. It is easy to read and covers the setting up of tenancies correctly, things to consider, and what to do in the event of disaster”

    Sally Prittie Landlord (about the Changing Tenants Kit)

    “Well put together. Informative. Easy to follow”

    Ben Tahouri Letting Agent (about the Changing tenants kit)

    “The information in this kit is very clear and easy to understand. It has given me far more confidence about dealing with these issues with my tenants.”

    Janet Lacey Landlord  (about the Changing Tenants Kit)

    “Once again, Ms Shepperson has produced a clear and highly informative kit to assist both the new landlord and professionals. Her clear narrative is easy to understand and she covers the topics to the highest level as always”

    Tracey Fisher, Letting Agent (about the Property Inspection Kit)

    We are grateful to our two sponsors, Anthony Gold and Hamilton Fraser, who have helped us in the making of this course:

    Landlord Law is a service provided by Landlord Law Services Ltd, R/O 148 Unthank Road, Norwich NR2 2RS, Registered in England & Wales No 08153069 © 2019