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Accidental landlords 'must educate themselves about property letting to avoid problems'
30th April 2012
Landlords new to the lettings agency and with little knowledge of the market are the most likely to experience disputes with their tenants and other problems, a lettings expert has claimed.
According to Marie Parris, managing director of George Ellis Property Services, there has been a significant rise in the number of homes up for rent across the UK in recent years.
This can be largely attributed to so-called 'accidental landlords' - those who have decided to rent out their home because they cannot sell it at a good price in the current housing market, she says.
And it is these landlords that are most likely to experience problems such as unpaid rent or taking on untrustworthy tenants who damage the property.
"As landlords there are myriad laws, regulations and guidelines we need to adhere to," said Ms Parris.
"Accidental landlords are likely not to have that knowledge, and you tend to find it's those landlords who are getting into problems."
Although taking out essential cover such as landlord contents insurance can provide protection against some of these problems, a lack of expertise in the rental sector can have serious consequences for accidental landlords.
"Applied knowledge is one thing - that's something you definitely need to succeed in the game. The fallout from [not having a good understanding] is that you really could lose your property," said the expert.
There are numerous ways landlords new to the lettings industry can educate themselves, advised Ms Parris, such as through trade events and consulting a lettings agency.
"One can also go to landlord associations and various exhibitions where you can get access to experts - but getting that knowledge is really important," she said.
"Obviously don't forget the letting agent - a letting agent that's accredited I would say. You don't want to go to an agency that isn't accredited because more often than not they don't have client bonded insurance and if things go belly up the landlord has lost there."
Posted by Brandon Parker