Landlords are you aware of new changes with fines of £5000

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Landlords, are you aware of a new system that could see you fined £5,000 if you are not a member of the new redress scheme? There are so many rules and regulations for landlords to keep up with, it is perfectly understandable that many landlords find themselves unaware of important regulations. However, with a potential fine of up to £5,000; landlords cannot afford to overlook their obligations.

This issue relates to the Housing Complaints Resolution Service. The service will serve as a single point of contact for tenants who have reason to raise a dispute against landlords. Landlords operating in the buy-to-let market are obliged to sign up to the service and a failure to do so will see landlords facing a fine of up to £5,000.

The system will be available for homeowners who have been unable to resolve problems they have with the builder of their property and tenants who have issues with their landlords. There have been many problems in resolving issues, so it is hoped that the new service will make it easier for tenants to gain satisfaction when dealing with a landlord.

Rogue landlords are being pursued

While many landlords will have concerns about these changes, the landlords who are at most at risk are rogue landlords. The landlords who have problems with their rental property will be most likely to suffer in the long-term, but in the short-term, it is vital that all landlords are aware of their obligations.

The Housing Minister James Brokenshire said; “All too often the process [of resolving disputes] can be confusing and overly bureaucratic, leaving many homeowners and tenants feeling like there is nowhere to go in the event of problems with their home.”

While groups supporting tenants have welcomed the new service, not everyone in the industry has been impressed. The Residential Landlords Association, the RLA, have stated they believe not enough consideration has been made as to how the system will work, and that landlords are likely to experience higher costs.

David Smith of the RLA stated; “We also need clarification on what the situation will be for landlords who use letting agents. Agents already have to be a member of a redress scheme, so landlords using them would be paying twice.”

There are redress schemes for landlords to join at this point in time, such as the Housing Ombudsman, but these aren’t required by law.

Many landlords are currently require to provide resolution services

Currently, landlords can opt to become members of a resolution service such as the Housing Ombudsman, but this isn’t required by law. Of course, landlords who are registered with an industry body, say the Property Ombudsman or the Association of Residential Letting Agents, ARLA, must meet the code of conduct held by these bodies.

Also, these bodies offer resolution services, allowing tenants the opportunity to raise concerns and seek resolutions. There is also the fact that tenants can complain to their local council authority if they believe the landlord isn’t providing them with a satisfactory level of service. This is common practice when the landlord is an independent landlord who isn’t part of a wider body.

There have been many changes in the buy-to-let sector, and it is clear the Government is aiming to crack down on rogue landlords. Landlords who provide a satisfactory service should be able to carry on their business as normal, but it is understandable that all landlords have concerns about the management of their business.

If you are looking for guidance or advice on being the best landlord you can be, contact me and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Matylda Nowak

CEO, Kings Accommodation