I was speaking to a landlord the other week at a property networking event. I wasn’t trying to sell him my services as that’s not my style we were just making general chit-chat, we got round to talking about property management and he said those words that no letting agent wants to hear “but you don’t do anything”. My eyes rolled up like the rolling eye emoji and I replied “let me guess a family member looks after your property or you do it yourself?” he replied, “my mum actually”. At this stage I had 2 options, politely move on to the next person or rant!  here is what I said….

“So, How is your mom on current legislation? will she be testing and recording herself testing the smoke alarm on the day of check in? will she be carrying out the comprehensive inventory with dated photos and notes so deducting monies from the security deposit will be valid? will she provide proof of issuing of the gas certificate and EPC? is she aware of the difference between different gas contractors? does she know what quantifies a pass or a fail on a gas or electric certificate? can she handle the health and safety checks on all your contractors? I’m sure you have heard about the £88k fine issued for this not being followed, oh and don’t forget she needs to follow all the rules under the Right To Rent checks, understand the difference between allowed and not allowed passports and visa’s, and the penalties for this can be as tough as she can go to jail if she gets this wrong, and don’t forget the follow-up checks. Mum also needs to make sure she issues and can prove that she has issued the How to Rent Guide, and that she is using the most up to date one, plus she has to document all of the maintenance that is reported to her and what action she took, in order to ensure that you never lose the right to issue a section 21, as well as the deposit registration, prescribed information, issuing of the deposit registration documentation and doing this on time, not forgetting she will have to deal with out of hours calls, making sure the contractors are suitably qualified and indemnified… Rent Arrears, this is difficult now too, will she be ok in handling these calls or visits and notifying any insurers of arrears, and commencing legal proceedings against the tenant?”

“Oh” he said…. Yes oh! You see we don’t do nothing, we actually do a lot to ensure you and your property is legal and your tenants are safe!

Being ARLA accredited means we have got your back, you are covered. ARLA letting agents have to complete 12 hours of continual professional development annually so our learning doesn’t stop.

There have been 159 changes to property regulation and legislation in the last 18 months alone and this coming year is set to see a hell of a lot more… EPC changes, mandatory electrical certificates and possibly PAT testing, huge HMO changes as well as long as the tenant fee ban.. Will mum keep up?

Think you can’t afford a letting agent? my question is can you afford not to?

Nicole Barratt-Rae

Managing Director