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Tenancy Agreements: Next For Government Rental Market Focus?

  24 Aug 2018

It is very important for landlords to remain up to date with regulations that impact on their properties and how they run their business. We know that many landlords feel that they are under severe pressure to comply with an ever-increasing array of regulations and there is anecdotal evidence which suggests some landlords have left the industry because of these constraints. At Jezzards, we are here to provide landlords with as much support as possible, and this includes helping them prepare for changes that could occur in the rental market.

We believe that being proactive makes sense for a landlord, and it may be that tenancy agreements will be the next focus for the Government. There has been a strong focus on landlords in recent times, with the Government aiming to remove rogue landlords from the industry. In theory, dependable and reliable landlords should have nothing to worry about with the changes implemented by the Government but anything which increases the workload and administrative tasks a landlord must carry out will never be welcomed.

Some tenants have suffered due to tenancy agreements

The call for tenancy agreements to be reviewed comes from a consumer watchdog who claims that tenancy agreements are causing problems for many tenants. The study was carried out by Which? and they claim to have spoken to more than 2,500 tenants. Alongside a lawyer with a specialism in housing, it is claimed that the study found unclear clauses and language which has negatively impacted on tenants.

It has been claimed that the wording of some tenancy agreements has led to tenants being responsible for costs that should have fallen under the remit of the landlord. There have also been suggestions that some tenants have been effectively banned from switching utility suppliers. Given the cost savings that can be achieved through choosing the most relevant supplier for a person’s needs, it is understandable that some people would have an issue with this, but then again, there is a need to consider the landlords’ obligations.

Landlords should be allowed to minimise their workload and problems within reason

If a tenant defaults on a utility bill payment, the landlord will likely have to deal with the fallout. Similarly, if there is a high turnover of tenants at the property, what happens if each tenant wants to change to a different supplier? This will make matters more difficult for a landlord to remain on top of. If there is an issue with the wording with respect to this matter, there is a need to review it but equally, there is a need to allow a landlord to run their business in a manner which minimises the negative impact on themselves.

One issue highlighted in the study that will interest landlords is the number of tenants who said they carried out repair work or paid for a professional to carry out repairs because they didn’t want to engage the landlord. Around half of the respondents said they had taken this action at one point while 23% of respondents said they did so because they were fearful of the landlord.

A landlord may have certain expectations with respect to property repairs and a tenant carrying out these repairs may mean that the finished result isn’t up to standard. Therefore, most landlords would prefer to be notified of repair work, but again, tis is a matter that should be outlined in the tenancy agreement.

While there is nothing to suggest that the Government will heed the calls for a tenancy agreement review, it never hurts a landlord to review the agreement they have with tenants. If you are looking for support on this matter or any other matter, contact Jezzards and we’ll be happy to help.

For further information on our residential lettings services for landlords, contact our team today on 03330 433 633,or click here to book your free, no obligation lettings valuation.


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