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Landlords given inspection warning over removal of ASTs

The Renters Reform Bill’s proposal to replace Assured Shorthold Tenancies with rolling ‘periodic’ lets could put landlords’ properties at risk, it’s been claimed.

Inspection service NoLettingGo’s managing director Nick Lyons says: “With ASTs there is a tenancy timescale in place from the start – 6, 12, 24 months – whatever it may be. Under that system, it was easy for landlords and agents to organise check-in, mid-term and check-out inspections.

“If all lets revert to periodic, then they will have to keep track of the tenancy duration and decide how often they might want to check on their properties to ensure tenants are taking reasonable care of them.”


Lyons says that because a periodic tenancy will end only when the tenant wants to leave - unless the landlord satisfies certain criteria to evict - it’s possible that years could pass between the beginning and end of a tenancy.

Without a strict inspection regime to ensure the properties are being properly cared for, Lyons fears disrepair could build up during such long tenancies.

“If a property isn’t monitored regularly, the owner runs the risk that it will deteriorate significantly. Problems like damp and mould – which might be relatively simple to rectify if spotted early - might end up being expensive to repair if early warning signs are missed” he adds.

The Renters’ Reform Bill was introduced in May this year and has just completed line-by-line scrutiny by MPs at its so-called Committee Stage. 

For many its most controversial proposal is the removal of Section 21 evictions, although this measure has been put on hold until reform of the courts process: however, Lyons says a move towards longer tenancies presents a less obvious risk to landlords.

He comments: “Never has a professional inventory and regular inspections been so important for landlords. If there is no detailed, accurate and reliable record in place at the beginning of a tenancy, how can landlords establish any form of deterioration beyond wear and tear and therefore seek redress through one of the deposit schemes?

“Higher mortgage rates and tougher affordability criteria have made it difficult for would-be buyers to get a foot on the property ladder so they are staying longer in rented properties.

“To protect their investment, landlords should put regular inspections in place to support the detailed, professional inventory which the tenant must sign before they move in.”

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    An advertorial that teaches granny how to suck eggs. Most professional landlords will have a clause in their contracts specifying how often an inspection will take place. Many will also have an Independent Inventory Clerk produce an inventory with time and date stamped photographs for the check in and out!

  • David Hollands

    Why change sometime that is work well. the rental reform bill will result in high rents for the tenants and many landlords will sell up. i have been a good landlord for many years and now HMRC are discriminating again the whole private landlord community with the removal of the mortgage tax relief.
    But a limited company gets tax relief.
    With a housing shortage HMRC should help private landlord and stop penalizing us.
    Its so wrong !!!

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    Come on now are you serious landlord warning, NoLettingGo’ it’s hardly news what have we been fighting about for last 3 years at least.

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    I like tenants leaving regularly (people who have wanted short lets for various reasons) because there are always little jobs to do when they have gone. I prefer to do them when the flats are empty.

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    Most of my properties are student let's so they let for 1 to 3 years. I am not happy about 3 years let, as at the end there is far too much work to do. I like to have 3rd year students or ones studying for masters. International students usually come for masters and stay 12 months, which suits me. There are always maintenance work to be done in between the tenancies, according to check in and check out. So this guy is not saying anything new.

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    The best inspector is the landlord and there's also the opportunity to assess the tenants, how they care for the flat, attitude, future plans etc.

    My investment is far too valuable to entrust its condition to a third party, other than carefully vetted tenants with several solvent property owning guarantors.


    Unfortunately the Deposit Schemes take more notice of Independent Inventories and, unforunately these days, everything is biased towards the tenants.



    You could be right but in well over 300 tenancies I have always refunded deposits in full apart from the one case where I had to have bailiffs evict for rent arrears.

    I have been quoted £60 to £200 to prepare an inventory which I can do on a spreadsheet in 30 minutes. I have more of a problem with students leaving more crockery etc. than I have with replacing broken stuff.

    I used to do planned replacement of mattresses and sofas etc. when we had the 10% allowance but now only replace broken or worn out items or in response to reasonable requests from new tenants.

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    The Deposits Scheme was pushed in by Shelter in 2007 based on pack of lies when they alleged up to 45% of Deposits we’re withheld by landlords it later transpired less than 2%
    went to Deposit Resolution.
    What a whopper are they fit and proper to run a charity and receive public money.
    Again I never held back a Deposit or any part there of ever even thought sometimes it was offered strangely enough but when they had pay their way I’d prefer to leave on good terms.
    The scheme is a data collection exercise for the Government who have full access but we are not told probably because they are restricted like your Solicitor who is required to report any unusual transactions and not allowed to tell you by Law that they reported you, that’s them off the hook then ? must be well worth £300. per hour not.


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