This means that you do not know what is happening there.
This includes the following sections:
Plus forms are
This includes the following:
They may have lost their job and be in receipt of benefit. For some landlords, this could invalidate their insurance.
They may have accidentally damaged the property and not told you because they are worried about the cost of repair.
They may have taken in a lodger because they need the extra money.
It will automatically be an HMO – and subject to the HMO management regulations. It may also be liable for licensing if your Local Authority has a scheme.
It will automatically be liable for mandatory HMO licensing. Meaning that you will need to apply (and pay for) an HMO license – and do any required works – otherwise, you will be renting your property illegally.
If you are found to be renting a property which is subject to HMO licensing without a licence this means that:
Hopefully, none of these things will happen to you. Probably they won’t. But they could do. You need to make sure that they don’t.
Ideally, property inspections need to be done every three months – or at least every six months with a visual inspection of the exterior every three months. However many landlords only do them once or twice a year – and some don’t do any inspections at all.
This is madness!
For example, if your property is found, when the tenants leave, to have been converted to a cannabis farm (which is far more common than most people think) – even if you are covered by insurance for this loss, your insurers will almost certainly be entitled to reject your claim.
Because they will expect you to have done regular inspections and picked up on this earlier.
Then even if landlords carry out regular inspections, they are often not keeping proper records. It is essential that you have a comprehensive record of your inspection visit – with photographs – so that:
If this all sounds a bit daunting – do not worry. I have something to help you.
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.
I have been concerned for a while about the problems that landlords face if they fail to do proper inspections and so fail to realise that their property has become subject to mandatory HMO licensing due to unauthorised occupiers living at the property. It prompted me to start work on developing a kit to help.
However, once I started, I realised how important regular property inspections are for other problems, not just those to do with unauthorised HMOs. For example, we now have legislation making it mandatory for a property to be fit for human habitation during the tenancy. You need to check that this is the case. Or you can be sued.
The kit I have developed is fairly comprehensive and it includes:
If you follow it carefully you should have a fairly complete record of the property at the time of the inspection visit which you can keep in case it is needed.
Part 1 –
Part 2 –
Part 3 –
Part 4 –
Part 5 –
All our content is hosted on a mobile responsive website, which allows you to read and study the kits easily, and watch the videos on most devices, including smart-phones and tablets.
The only parts of the kits which are perhaps best dealt with on a laptop or desktop computer are the forms. However, the kit can easily be accessed, for example on your smart-phone, while travelling or waiting in a queue.
If you find the kit is unsuitable for you in any way – all you need to do is email us requesting a cancellation not later than 30 days after purchase, giving your reason why.
We will then cancel your purchase (and your access) and refund your money within 14 days.
Q: What if I can’t access the kit or if it does not work on my computer?
A: It should do, this is a standard WordPress website. 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.
Q: I am based in Wales, can I use the kit?
A: Yes the kit will be suitable for you. Although the HMO licensing rules referred to will only apply in England.
Q: I am based in Scotland, can I use the kit?
A: The kit is written for rented properties in England or Wales UK only. Scotland has a different legal system, as does Northern Ireland. However, the kit may still be useful on a practical level so long as you are aware that some of the specific legal points will not necessarily apply to you.
Q: How long do I get access?
A: You get ‘lifetime’ access – this means that you will be able to use the kit as long as this site is up and running (ie for the lifetime of this website). Although we only guarantee a 12 months access – so if the site gets taken down for any reason during the first 12 months after purchase, you can claim a refund of a proportionate part your purchase price.
Q: I use a letting agent – do I need the kit?
A: Find out how often your agents are carrying out inspections. If they are only inspecting once or twice a year, this is not enough and you may want to arrange for some inspections yourself.
Q: I am a Landlord Law member – do I need the kit?
A: Not if you are a Business Level member as the kit is provided as part of your membership entitlement. If you are a Basic Level member you should get the Standard version – as the plus documents are already available to you on Landlord Law. Or ask us about upgrading your membership!
Q: Can I ask you questions about my particular issues?
A: The kit 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: No. We only accept payment via our online system. However, you can elect to pay by either credit / debit card or pay pal.
Q: If I get the standard kit but then decide I would like the Pro version, can I upgrade?
A: Yes, but there will be a payment of £25 – this is the difference in cost between the two versions plus a £5 admin charge. To upgrade, contact us via the support section.
If you have any problems you will find guidance in the Help documents linked from the green button at the bottom right of every page or via the Help Docs link on the Services menu on the site header.
All kits are sold subject to our standard terms and conditions (the link will open in a new window or tab).
*Note – Do not buy this kit if you are a Landlord Law Business Level member as it is included with your membership.
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