Over the last few years we’ve seen significant legislative and regulatory changes affecting the private rented sector (PRS). The proposed ending of no-fault evictions, the Tenant Fees Act which came into force on 1st June 2019, and proposals to provide greater security of tenure and longer leases for tenants’ all point to a considerable shift in landlord and tenant relationships.
Before this there had been few changes since the Housing Act 1988 which governed the laws between landlords and tenants but over the last few years existing and proposed legislative changes have increased significantly.
This poses a fantastic opportunity for letting agents: to ensure that landlords are fully informed of all legislative changes before they occur, to guide them on the potential impact this will have on their business, and to take them through best practice to ensure they are fully prepared and compliant.
Timing is key, it’s essential that landlords have ample time to get a plan in place for new and changing legislation. Agents can keep up with the legislative changes themselves through trade bodies that you’re likely already following; Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) is one of our favourite places to stay in the know.
To some extent agents have a responsibility in ensuring that their landlords are legally compliant. Give your landlords the best chance, inform them of proposed legislative changes impacting upon their income and investment. This can be done in a variety of ways from a post on social media to a phone call. You know your clients best, use the channel that they’re most receptive to, and that you can commit to using regularly.
The task of an agent has always been one of supporting landlords through the complex and challenging issues from day to day operations to wider legislative changes. Having a close and trusting relationship and good communication with a landlord will allow them to be kept fully aware of what they need to do to remain compliant, profitable and protect their assets — being the agent that adds extra value may well be the difference that helps you to win that next landlord instruction.
Author: David Alexander, joint managing director of Apropos by DJ Alexander Ltd