For many people buy-to-let continues to look an attractive income investment at a time of low saving rates and stock market volatility.
Despite the introduction of higher stamp duty purchasing costs, the scrapping of the wear and tear allowance, and the pending removal of landlords’ mortgage interest tax relief from April, investors continue to be drawn to the buy-to-let market as the returns routinely outperform those of other investments.
Yet, many landlords are putting their property investments - probably their biggest assets - at risk by failing to comply with basic legislation, such as placing their tenants’ deposits in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.
When renting out a property, most landlords choose to take a deposit from the tenant prior to the tenancy starting. The deposit provides you with a level of protection and means that should the tenant breach the terms of the tenancy agreement, such as causing damage or not paying rent, you can then make appropriate deductions from the deposit.
But although it is mandatory to hold a tenancy deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme, thousands of landlords are believed to be running the risk of a heavy fine for not placing money into a government authorised scheme.
The worry for landlords is that tenants can apply to a local county court if they think their landlord has not used a deposit protection scheme when they should have, and if found guilty, the court can order the landlord to pay up to three times the deposit within 14 days of making the order.
To help ensure that landlords and letting agents are up to speed with their responsibilities, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) has launched a new six part training programme for landlords.
The training expands on its existing courses, which have focused on deposit protection and adjudication workshops.
The programme kicks off with the legal issues around setting up a tenancy and the full day course will be led by Solicitor and TDS legal advisor Hilary Crook.
The first course starts in March and is available to book now, with future courses being released in the coming months.
Commenting on the launch, Steve Harriott, chief executive of TDS, said: “Customers have really valued our deposit protection training but told us that they want more detail. These courses all tie back to deposit protection, but take a detailed look at key parts of the tenancy lifecycle.
“With such a focus on raising standards in the private rented sector, our training is intended to arm the property professional with the insight and very best practice to stay the right side of the law.”
To book, click here.