23
Jan 14

4 Million Pounds Government Campaign Targeting Rouge Landlords

The government are targeting rogue landlords, with a £4 million boost for councils across the country in a bid for better living conditions for tenants.

The move comes as the Housing Minister, Kris Hopkins stated that dangerous living accommodation caused a ripple effect of problems on the community, like sanitation issues, fire risk, and anti-social behaviour, among others.

So the cash boost the 23 councils in question will receive is hoped to weed out unsuitable and dangerous, overcrowded homes let by irresponsible landlords.

And it is also hoped, meanwhile, that it can build on work to eliminate illegally-rented outhouses - of which there are thought to be over 500 - and which have been let since 2011.

This action is aimed at very specifically targeting the ‘cowboys’ and ‘rogue traders’ within the property industry; with the majority of landlords, of course, being reputable and conscientious property owners who this initiative will not be affected by.

However, Total Landlord Insurance heard, along with landlords everywhere recently, of the legislation came into place just last month that enabled the handling of landlords’ assets and their income, by the courts, when levying fines for housing offences.

And there have been many stories in the press recently of unlicensed, fire-trap and overcrowded properties facing fines of around £10,000 in some instances.

So the news will no doubt shake all landlords, after hearing the financial fall-out for others. It very much acts as a deterrent against leaving anything left to chance in your rental property, or not completely sorting everything out before it is rented just so you can get rent payments in as soon as possible.

However, respectable landlords are more likely to want likeminded tenants – and so the more conscientious they are, the more likely they are to attract responsible tenants.

But there are always unfortunate incidents where even the most careful landlord with a strong gut instinct, can end up with unreliable and untrustworthy tenants, who cost them a small fortune and cause them a multitude of stress.

One way of making the chance of this happening significantly reduced to have suitable background checks carried out on prospective tenants; such as previous letting references, employment and income information and much more, which means landlords are in a stronger position to know more about them.

Unscrupulous landlords will put anyone in their property as they just want to fill the property quickly. However, it is a landlord’s responsibility to be vigilant in making inquiries about tenants to ensure they are responsible and reduce the risk of damage to the property and rent arrears.

Of course, there are always unavoidable accidents that every sensible landlord should be covered for, however, by taking out the right insurance cover that protects you and covers you for costs incurred.

But conversely, they should not rush into letting a property before it is properly habitable with suitable living conditions and no overcrowding. The responsibility falls both ways, which is what the government’s initiative is trying to highlight. But as long as good landlords are adequately covered, and remain conscientiousness, they should have nothing to worry about.
 

About the author

Eddie Hooker Photograph Eddie Hooker has been involved in the insurance industry since 1985.  He worked with many large insurers such as Legal & General and AXA Insurance prior to setting up his own insurance business, Hamilton Fraser, in 1996.  Hamilton Fraser now employs over 130 staff out of their North London office, dealing with various insurance products for the buy-to-let property market such landlord insurance, rent guarantee insurance, emergency cover and tenancy deposit protection. 

Eddie and Hamilton Fraser Insurance first started to provide landlord insurance as early as 1996 when they became involved with the Small Landlord Association, which later became the National Landlords Association. 

By working closely with the industry’s leading companies Eddie and his team have built up a detailed understanding of the landlord market ensuring that the customer experience is founded on knowledge and support.  This has been highlighted in a recent customer survey that found that 95% of Hamilton Fraser customers were either satisfied or more than satisfied with the service provided by the company.

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