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Landlords urged to adopt a more professional approach

In an attempt to improve standards in the private rented sector, a London-based letting agent is calling on buy-to-let landlords to adopt a more professional approach when it comes to managing their private rented accommodation.

The annual English Housing Survey shows that 1.4 million rented properties across Britain today pose a health and safety risk to their occupants. This, the research suggests, is owed in part to the fact that while there are strict legal obligations for those providing public housing, while there are fewer such rules for private landlords, although it is worth noting that this is changing as new legislation aimed at the private rental sector is introduced, particularly at local council level.

In an interview for The London Economic, Ashley Clements of Horton and Garton, based in west London, said the new rules being brought in were proving problematic for many landlords, leaving them in need of professional guidance.

He said: “The private rental sector has grown at lighting speed in recent years. In the affluent West London neighbourhoods of Hammersmith, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush, many owners have seen their properties grow exponentially in value.

“With significant equity in their properties, they decide to retain and let them when they move on. Our challenge within the letting agency is to help professionalise these landlords by providing them with accurate and up-to-date advice on ever-changing legislation.”

With recent changes to landlord tax relief, the government needs to be mindful of pushing landlords out of the marketplace and encouraging them to sell their buy-to-lets, according to Clements.

He added: “Should a flood of landlords list their properties for sale, this may have a negative impact on house prices within certain areas of London and drive up the cost of renting.”

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