How to be a long-distance landlord

Alex Johnson

Landlord Tenant Disputes 300x300 How to be a long distance landlordA new survey of landlords shows that in London there are almost twice as many properties in the private rented sector as landlords who reside in the capital. It also reveals that long-distance landlords are far more prevalent in Scotland than in the South East and South West of England.

Ian Potter, Operations Manager for the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) who carried out the research said, “It is a common phenomenon for landlords to let properties in different parts of the country and it is likely that trend will grow as owners increasingly opt to let out a property rather than sell when the time comes to move on, or when parents who’ve bought a student property choose to continue renting it out when their child has left university.”

ARLA emphasise the important of:
* setting reasonable and realistic rent levels
* nominating a representative (e.g. a letting agentt) to take charge on moving day
* building up a network of reliable local maintenance contractors to deal with any issues
* obtaining a reference from every incoming tenant
* arranging securty and backup keys

Another key issue is compiling a detailed inventory. According to research by Imfuna, whose smartphone app claims to provide a complete digital property inventory system, just over half said that they thought current schemes favoured tenants, while 35 per cent claimed that neither party benefitted from the schemes. Letting agents largely mirrored those sentiments.

The new Localism Act means landlords now face fines of up to three times the deposit if it is not registered with a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days. “The new ruling places an even greater emphasis on adhering to tenancy deposit schemes regulations,” says Imfuna creator Jax Kneppers. “A comprehensive and robust inventory will help arm landlords with the necessary information and ensure they aren’t further penalised when it comes to the check-in/check-out process.”
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