Landlord licensing could lead to rent rises in Bristol? | Discuss

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Landlord licensing could lead to rent rises in Bristol?
14/12/2012
3:18 pm
News @ Tenant Referencing
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Landlords in Bristol will have to apply for a licence to let their properties, as part of a trial scheme aimed at improving conditions for tenants.

 

The licence, being trialled in the Easton area, will cost property owners £100 and as part of the application they will have to supply safety certificates and ensure smoke alarms are installed.

The area, which includes St Jude’s, Stapleton Road, St Mark’s Road and Robertson Road, has been chosen due to the high number of rental homes, complaints from existing tenants about properties and the level of antisocial behaviour reported to the police.

Although some letting agents have said that the restrictions could lead to rent rises and described the plan as ‘unethical’; especially due to the current economic climate.

Tom Gilchrist, of Bristol City Council, which is trialling the scheme, said: “What we’re looking to do is improve accommodation for vulnerable private tenants living in those areas.”

A licence will last for five years during which properties will be inspected and if a landlord is found to be in breach of their licence, they could face fines of up to £5,000.

At Landlord Referencing Services we welcome regulation of any profession that deals with others personal details and lives.

What we don’t agree with is that all private housing legislation, new and old, is highly weighted towards the Tenant.

What LRS would like to see is a complete redress of the balance between landlords and tenants; whereby proper regulations are put in place to stop rogue tenants being able to get away with stealing rents via LHA (RE: Universal Credit), illegal sub-letting and damaging private rented properties.

Until then; why not consider joining our completely free system? Not only can we provide you with up-to-date details of rent arrears and damages direct from a tenants previous landlord but we can also inform you of a rogue tenant on the move in your area – as quickly as up to 1 hour from when they left their last property, via our unique Tenant Alerts!

 

What are yours views on licensing? Please let us know!

 

Related Topics:

[Image Can Not Be Found] to regulate or not ? that is the question…

14/12/2012
3:46 pm
@LandlordXX
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Of course it will. HMO licensing & Art4 controls increased room rental rates by 13.3% this year in Brighton

14/12/2012
3:46 pm
PaulBarrett
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I have NO problem with LL being licenced for decent accommodation standards; providing, 

A tenant may be removed by police if the LL so desires immediately they are 2 months in rental arrears, which effectively mean 1 month and 1 day.

Tenants are arrested for theft and damage at the property and prosecuted with all costs recovered from the tenant even if it take years and with the sanction that if they don't pay they go in prison but still owe the debt and go back to prison if they continue to fail to pay those costs incurred by the LL.

Address details of absconding tenants may be supplied to the LL by police and DWP and councils to facilitate recovery of rent and to forward court orders to recover monies owed to LL and for ALL information that govt holds as to the whereabouts of a tenant who owes monies to the LL to be supplied.

That guarantors if they don't pay for tenant's monies owing for whatever may be taken to court and for sale of their property to be forced immediately the tenant hasn't honoured their contractual commitments.

So if ALL of the above will be assisted by govt I am more than happy to be licenced!!!

14/12/2012
9:46 pm
A Bristol Landlord
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I own 4 rental properties in Bristol, and as a resident here myself I know the city well. The areas in which the scheme is being piloted indeed have a high percentage of poor housing stock, but it is grossly unfair to assume that this is all the fault of neglectful landlords. A very great deal of the substandard housing is owner-occupied, and there is quite a high proportion of old commercial buildings mixed in with the housing. Private landlords cannot be held responsible for the socio-economic profile of the area, and nor should they be made responsible for the care of truly vulnerable people, who really should be in sheltered accommodation anyway. There is much talk about there being a lack of affordable housing in the UK, and private landlords who are willing to invest in poorer areas to provide just that should not be penalized because their property is in the same condition as the owner-occupied house next door. Although the flats I own are in slightly more affluent areas, I have not been able to increase the rents to take account of the additional costs I am having to bear as a result of all the legislation and regulations that have come into force over the past 10 years. Oh, and the studio flat I own in the City Centre is most definitely substandard compared to the surrounding luxury apartments. This is not due to my neglect, but that of the Housing Association that owns the Freehold. For that reason, I used to let it for half the rent being achieved in the development opposite, and was happy to reduce the rent by a further £40 per month to match the Housing Benefit my tenant was granted when he lost his job. Sadly, said tenant then declined to pass the Housing Benefit on to me, used my flat to grow cannabis, trashed the place and left owing me £3000. What protection do I have against such tenants? None whatsoever. For that reason, the property is now empty and will remain so until the Housing Association improves the rest of the block, thereby making the refurbishment of my flat to a compliant standard financially viable. I’d therefore be very interested to know what measures the Local Authority intends taking to ensure that Social Housing Landlords keep their buildings up to standard? This is going to be particularly difficult to do, given that Housing Associations are likely to be exempt from the compulsory measures to be imposed upon private landlords by the Energy Bill.

14/12/2012
10:26 pm
PaulBarrett
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The fact that your tenant was allowed to get away with what he has is the main reason LL don't wish to take on these benefit claimants.

Licencing is all very well but the LL must be protected against tenants to enable them to manage and improve their properties.

This will NEVER happen and so LL will continue to withdraw from the LHA market.

It is a national scandal that tenants can behave in criminal and fraudulent fashion with impunity.

I sincerely hope that all the wrongun tenants suffer extreme detriment in their lives for all the havoc they have caused to LL financial circumstances.

The fact that the state protects these criminals from justice is outrageous.

LL are like any any service provided for payment and yet remains the ONLY one where we have to continue to provide the service when a tenant behaves in a criminal and fraudulent fashion.

This is clearly morally and financially wrong.

But NOTHING will ever be done to protect a tenant stealing, not paying rent and criminally damaging at a property.

 

 

 

15/12/2012
1:49 am
stonehouse
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PaulBarrett said
This is clearly morally and financially wrong.

But NOTHING will ever be done to protect a tenant stealing, not paying rent and criminally damaging at a property.

 

 

 

Well until LRS Paul none.

At least here we have a way of voicing our opinions and a way to stop taking these bad tenants from one another. I just watched Paul R on television BBC 1 points west and have to say if we can get this site viral we will clean up the PRS and our communities within months.

What better tool does mankind have a protecting one another than one another.

15/12/2012
6:07 pm
PaulBarrett
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I do wholeheartedly agree with you; it just seems to be taking so long to include all LL and LA.

There are 1 1/2 million private LL; there are about 40000 LRS members, see the disparity!!!?

Until this is reduced existing LRS members will still be risking taking on dodgy tenants.

100 % coverage is clearly what is needed, it just isn't happening quick enough.

I reckon PR's warnings about the effects of UC will cause many new members to occur once they have been stitched up by their new UC claimants.

Direct payment has salved the wounds a wrongun tenant could inflict on a LL for many a year.

This protection will be removed and then the tenants will be revealed for all their wrongness when the UC  is spent on other things with the LL not able to do a thing about it, apart from evicting, which will cost LL millons of losses.

Then perhaps these complacent LL will join LRS!

I honestly believe that principally LA  don't want to know about wrongun tenants if they are not picked up by the LA referencing.

This is because they know how many wrongun tenants there are.

They know an expanded LRS service will identify these wrongun tenants and conequently the LA will have less tenant prospects to offer LL.

This would cause severe detriment to a LA income.

They know that if a tenant turns out to be a wrongun the LL has no comeback against the LA; who simply state, well they passed our referencing.

Absolutely useless!

Why any LL takes the slightest notice of a LA reference I shall NEVER understand.

RGI referencing is the only referencing worth having.

17/12/2012
11:38 am
@52landlord
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YOu don't say if it Selective Licensing or Additional Licensing or both?

18/12/2012
9:36 am
@dentonjoinery
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Another example of how decent business pay more because of the cowboys, Another fee for those who try to operate within the law

18/12/2012
11:55 am
Mary Latham
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A Bristol Landlord said
I own 4 rental properties in Bristol, and as a resident here myself I know the city well. The areas in which the scheme is being piloted indeed have a high percentage of poor housing stock, but it is grossly unfair to assume that this is all the fault of neglectful landlords. A very great deal of the substandard housing is owner-occupied, and there is quite a high proportion of old commercial buildings mixed in with the housing. Private landlords cannot be held responsible for the socio-economic profile of the area, and nor should they be made responsible for the care of truly vulnerable people, who really should be in sheltered accommodation anyway. There is much talk about there being a lack of affordable housing in the UK, and private landlords who are willing to invest in poorer areas to provide just that should not be penalized because their property is in the same condition as the owner-occupied house next door. Although the flats I own are in slightly more affluent areas, I have not been able to increase the rents to take account of the additional costs I am having to bear as a result of all the legislation and regulations that have come into force over the past 10 years. Oh, and the studio flat I own in the City Centre is most definitely substandard compared to the surrounding luxury apartments. This is not due to my neglect, but that of the Housing Association that owns the Freehold. For that reason, I used to let it for half the rent being achieved in the development opposite, and was happy to reduce the rent by a further £40 per month to match the Housing Benefit my tenant was granted when he lost his job. Sadly, said tenant then declined to pass the Housing Benefit on to me, used my flat to grow cannabis, trashed the place and left owing me £3000. What protection do I have against such tenants? None whatsoever. For that reason, the property is now empty and will remain so until the Housing Association improves the rest of the block, thereby making the refurbishment of my flat to a compliant standard financially viable. I’d therefore be very interested to know what measures the Local Authority intends taking to ensure that Social Housing Landlords keep their buildings up to standard? This is going to be particularly difficult to do, given that Housing Associations are likely to be exempt from the compulsory measures to be imposed upon private landlords by the Energy Bill.

 

What an excellent down to earth post and a reality check for those who care to read what hands on landlords have to say.

 

Just one question why do you think that Housing Associations will be exempt from the Energy Act?

 

Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets

18/12/2012
11:56 am
Angela Kelly
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RE: Shocking Bristol poverty report reveals an average of 9 people are chasing each private tenancy.

 

I live in a privately rented house and pay a whopping £700 a month. I am the only earner in my house and although I have agood job I struggle to afford more than the basics. My wage has been frozen for two years, yet prices are going up.. I think a rent cap is the only fair way to go..Absolutely the landlord has the right to make a profit but I think that some of them go too far and are just plain greedy. the letting agencies also encourage them to raise the rents every year just to get abigger slice of their fee. I would like rents to be reasonable and I would like longer tenancies. I am paying ahigh price, I should be able to feel this is my home, to have pets if I want and to decorate. In return I believe that tenants should keep the house in order and when they vacate, return it in good repair to the landlord. I don’t want to curtail the profits(too much) or to erode the rights of the landlords to evict bad tenants but i do think that in all fairness those of us paying through the nose should be entitled to some security, both of tenancy and financial. The poster above, with his attitude of ” This is a market economy, if tenants cannot afford to live where they want, tough they will have to rent where they can afford” is I’m afraid typical of the tory government who really don’t give a damsn and I hope there are landlords out there with more of a social connscience. Something has to be done, this unfair and expensive situation cannot be allowed to continue. Housing shouldn’t be seen as a privilege but as a necessity!

18/12/2012
6:45 pm
Paul Routledge
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Angela Kelly said
RE: Shocking Bristol poverty report reveals an average of 9 people are chasing each private tenancy.

 

I live in a privately rented house and pay a whopping £700 a month. I am the only earner in my house and although I have agood job I struggle to afford more than the basics. My wage has been frozen for two years, yet prices are going up.. I think a rent cap is the only fair way to go..Absolutely the landlord has the right to make a profit but I think that some of them go too far and are just plain greedy. the letting agencies also encourage them to raise the rents every year just to get abigger slice of their fee. I would like rents to be reasonable and I would like longer tenancies. I am paying ahigh price, I should be able to feel this is my home, to have pets if I want and to decorate. In return I believe that tenants should keep the house in order and when they vacate, return it in good repair to the landlord. I don’t want to curtail the profits(too much) or to erode the rights of the landlords to evict bad tenants but i do think that in all fairness those of us paying through the nose should be entitled to some security, both of tenancy and financial. The poster above, with his attitude of ” This is a market economy, if tenants cannot afford to live where they want, tough they will have to rent where they can afford” is I’m afraid typical of the tory government who really don’t give a damsn and I hope there are landlords out there with more of a social connscience. Something has to be done, this unfair and expensive situation cannot be allowed to continue. Housing shouldn’t be seen as a privilege but as a necessity!

Hi Angela,

What is your rental property worth as I bet the yield is no more than what any decent investment will return. Landlords invest their cash and deserve a return on that cash or why would they do it and if they did not do it millions of people would have nowhere to live.

I truly understand that renting is very expensive but it is all about supply and demand. I do not understand why we as landlords are expected to gift our tenants property at a less than market rent because we are supposed to have a social conscience.

We are not the government or to blame for the problems in this Country; we just charge the market price for a service we provide exactly the same as every other business. I don’t see M&S reducing the price of suits because all our job seekers need to get one for our job interviews, I don’t see Tesco reducing their food because the government has reduced benefit and families can’t afford to eat and I certainly don’t see the government (labour or conservative) reduce the taxes on fuel to help us all with our strained budgets.

With everything rising in price, I simply do not understand the mind-set of why landlords of this country are expected to reduce rents and carry the entire burden of debt and austerity created by others on their shoulders.

18/12/2012
9:03 pm
PaulBarrett
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Angela Kelly said
RE: Shocking Bristol poverty report reveals an average of 9 people are chasing each private tenancy.

 

I live in a privately rented house and pay a whopping £700 a month. I am the only earner in my house and although I have agood job I struggle to afford more than the basics. My wage has been frozen for two years, yet prices are going up.. I think a rent cap is the only fair way to go..Absolutely the landlord has the right to make a profit but I think that some of them go too far and are just plain greedy. the letting agencies also encourage them to raise the rents every year just to get abigger slice of their fee. I would like rents to be reasonable and I would like longer tenancies. I am paying ahigh price, I should be able to feel this is my home, to have pets if I want and to decorate. In return I believe that tenants should keep the house in order and when they vacate, return it in good repair to the landlord. I don’t want to curtail the profits(too much) or to erode the rights of the landlords to evict bad tenants but i do think that in all fairness those of us paying through the nose should be entitled to some security, both of tenancy and financial. The poster above, with his attitude of ” This is a market economy, if tenants cannot afford to live where they want, tough they will have to rent where they can afford” is I’m afraid typical of the tory government who really don’t give a damsn and I hope there are landlords out there with more of a social connscience. Something has to be done, this unfair and expensive situation cannot be allowed to continue. Housing shouldn’t be seen as a privilege but as a necessity!

Your post is typical of ignorant tenants who haven't got a clue about the LL game and only see things from the perspective of how much rent they have to pay.

I suggest you ascertain how much it would cost you; if you could afford it, to buy your rental property and manage ALL the associated costs of facilitating ongoing provision of the property.

You will find that the costs would be far too much for you to sustain and yet you expect some other individual to offer you the same property at a rent that you WANT to afford.

I am the poster you refer to who suggests you rent whee you can afford.

Please advise as to WHY you think I should use my capital to provide rental accommodation to the likes of you and earn less than the market provides for.

The ONLY reason that LL operate in the PRS is to make as MUCH PROFIT as they can.

If not then there is no real reason to remain in the market, unless they have some other motives like philanthropy.

Which is fine and dandy if you can afford to have such an offer to a tenant.

That however is not why the majority of LL in the PRS are in the game for.

You have to be really thick NOT to understand that basic premise.

We do not exist to ensure that our tenants have cheap, affordable rental property.

Exactly the opposite.

The social housing sector should facilitate this circumstance.

I agree it is a national disgrace that we have so little affordable social housing in the UK.

But we also have 70000 empty homes in the UK!!

I would advocate building about 3 million council houses to solve the housing crisis in the UK and at the same time substantially boost the economy.

Instead of giving money via QE to the banks,. the govt should have given the money to councils and instructed them to build so many council house.

This will never happen because as fast as they are built immigrants take them.

The PRS exist only in the market and market forces WILL decide the price point of something; in this case your rent.

As I stated; if you can't afford it, tough, move to where you can afford, and if that is the Shetland Islands, then so be it!

The PRS has NO OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION!

What is so hard to understand about that!

Of course LL are CONTROLLED by the MARKET; we understand and accept the risks that the market imposes on us.

I remember having to subsidise mortgages because the market rent was insufficient to pay the full mortgage payment.

Now that is NOT the case, but is could still be!

That is the commercial risk I took, my capital, my risk!

As there is a shortage of supply the market imposes increasing  upward pressure on the price points of accommodation offered for rent.

You are very naive if you think rent caps would make rents cheaper for you; err! no, all that would happen would be that LL would withdraw from the market and rents would increase.

As a LL I am not the slightest bit interested if your lifestyle is suffering because of accommodation costs.

I have NO obligation to ensure you have a nice lifestyle!

As a LL in the PRS I have NO social conscience because my bank doesn't have one.

They are NOT the slightest bit interested in my social conscience, they just want paying!

Which is why I need to squeeze as much rent as I can for the property facilities I provide.

I am NOT allowed to provide tenancy security to you as a tenant because my mortgage lender WON'T allow me to!

This is largely because of the pathetic way the LAW DOESN'T protect the LL in the event the tenant breaches their AST contract.

I agree with housing being a necessity; however as a PRS LL I am under NO obligation to use MY capital to provide YOU with what YOU think should be the case, which generally is provision of accommodation that you choose to afford in the area YOU CHOOSE to be!

19/12/2012
10:21 am
@landlordxx
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Angela Kelly

letting agencies encourage landlords to raise the rents

GOOD!

 

19/12/2012
10:25 am
@beanstalklet
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Paul R.

I simply do not understand the mind-set of why landlords of this country are expected to reduce rents an...

 

Will the government help reduce mortgages??? So why ask to reduce rent? Where is the  support in all of this

 

19/12/2012
10:54 am
Paul Routledge
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Now there is the true crux of the matter; Government reduced interest rates so we could all get better rates and boost the economy and create more jobs and build more homes. Unfortunately they gave it to the bankers to pass on to us and guess what “they didn’t”, they took it and just added a 4% margin to it and made very fat profits and bailed themselves out with our money.

So landlord’s interest rates are still as high as they were before the recession, tenants rents are still high and getting higher than before the recession and the Bank of England interest rates are still being held at an all-time low.

Only £6 billion of the pledged £80 billion of cheap money has got into the economy as banks are still not lending and when they do they want massive interest, fees, extra security and your pants. They are making so much profit from this cheap money they are paying back all the PPI, all their bad loans and still showing profits whilst the rest of us shrink more and more every day.

It’s a scandal.. Please don’t look for landlords to save the housing crisis of the UK. Look outside the box and see what is happening to our PRS it is dying from more legislation and starvation of investment and funding.

…………….…………………………………………………………………………

Members Notice:  We all know Universal Credit is on its way and we will not get our rent direct anymore. We need to protect ourselves from taking one another’s bad tenants as they move about. Please tell everyone you know about http://www.landlord-referencing.co.uk/ free service to protect each other in the future.

02/02/2013
6:28 pm
LyndonBaker
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Angela Kelly said
RE: Shocking Bristol poverty report reveals an average of 9 people are chasing each private tenancy.

 

I live in a privately rented house and pay a whopping £700 a month. I am the only earner in my house and although I have agood job I struggle to afford more than the basics. My wage has been frozen for two years, yet prices are going up.. I think a rent cap is the only fair way to go..Absolutely the landlord has the right to make a profit but I think that some of them go too far and are just plain greedy. the letting agencies also encourage them to raise the rents every year just to get abigger slice of their fee. I would like rents to be reasonable and I would like longer tenancies. I am paying ahigh price, I should be able to feel this is my home, to have pets if I want and to decorate. In return I believe that tenants should keep the house in order and when they vacate, return it in good repair to the landlord. I don’t want to curtail the profits(too much) or to erode the rights of the landlords to evict bad tenants but i do think that in all fairness those of us paying through the nose should be entitled to some security, both of tenancy and financial. The poster above, with his attitude of ” This is a market economy, if tenants cannot afford to live where they want, tough they will have to rent where they can afford” is I’m afraid typical of the tory government who really don’t give a damsn and I hope there are landlords out there with more of a social connscience. Something has to be done, this unfair and expensive situation cannot be allowed to continue. Housing shouldn’t be seen as a privilege but as a necessity!

Angela,

Again I find myself agreeing with Paul B and with the additional comments:

  • Not all landlords are greedy but we are in it to make a profit
  • Not all agents have an annual rent increase policy http://www.brpl.co.uk do not believe in annual increases for the sake of it.
  • Not all landlords are against pets but would you be prepared to pay an increased rent since the wear and tear will increase and an extra deposit to cover any additional damage? I have dogs and cats and am fully aware of the effect that have on our home
  • Most landlords will be pleased to allow long-term tenants to decorate provided that it is done in neutral colours etc. I have seen very deep blue walls and even black which takes several coats of paint to hide!
  • Your comment regarding "typical of the Tory government" shows your whole approach. I am no supporter of any of the three main parties, but I have found that anti-conservatives tend to be full of their "rights" and have a distinct lack of knowledge of their responsibilities
  • IF you are a good tenant, take care of the property as you stated, then no professional landlord will want you to leave without a good reason


 

02/02/2013
8:41 pm
PaulBarrett
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I have actually deleted the term in my AST that states the rent will increase annually at a rate of 5%.

I delete this term and then insert that the rent will be reviewed but not necessarily increased.

I discuss with the tenant if I wish to increase the rent and I have always come to a satisfactory arrangement.

That to me is not being a greedy LL but treating an existing client  tenant with consideration and valuing them.

Everyone knows prices increase; rents are no exception and surely tenants must realise this!?

Tenants must realise that whilst it may be their home it is only an investment asset as far as a LL is concerned and LL

must be free like anyone to treat their business asset in such a fashion as to maximise the benefit from it.

If a tenant doesn't like it they can always leave.

This then leaves the LL with a vacant property.

LL will always judge how to ensure their investment return continues without any hassle.

For most LL that means retaining a good tenant for as long as they can.

They will ensure their price points are set accordingly; just like any other business!

If tenants don't like this state of affairs they can always go and buy a property and struggle to maintain the upkeep of it etc……………………………just like a LL has to do!

No LL ever forces a tenant to be a tenant, that is their CHOICE.

They have to accept the conditions that come with such a  CHOICE!

 

 

03/02/2013
9:07 am
Paul Routledge
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Paul, I have said for a long time that there should be a written schedule of things that a tenant should do as an attachment to the AST..

A schedule of maintenance at the outset may show a tenant that they have responsibilities and that letting a home is not a cheap alternative to a hotel and the landlord is not the bell boy. A simple to do list would offer a lot of clarity to their responsibilities (I may try and get one written this week if I get time ) but here is an example.. anyone please add to it if you have any ideas and we can compile a new attachment for our members.

A tenant’s responsibilities throughout the tenancy are;

1)    Bleed radiators and maintain boiler pressure (ask landlord how to do this).

2)    Keep all paths and areas clear.

3)    Keep window glass and shuts clean and oiled.

4)    Make sure tiling grout is sealed around showers and baths. (landlord can help you with this)

5)    Keep gutters and drain covers clean and free of debris.

6)    Keep drains clear and free running do not to block sinks with uncooked rice or cooking oil etc:  toilets can get blocked with excess paper or sanitary towels etc. (It is not a landlords responsibility to unblock your drains). The average cost of a call out to clear drains will be £65.

 

Etc etc etc…….

….…………………………………………………………………………

Landlords and Letting Agents still not become a member of Landlordreferencing.co.uk yet? Well we all know Universal Credit is on its way this year and we will not get our rent direct anymore. We need to protect ourselves from taking one another’s bad tenants as they move about. Please tell everyone you know about http://www.landlord-referencing.co.uk/ free service to protect each other in the future.

Please join me now and don’t take my last bad tenant.

03/02/2013
10:47 am
LyndonBaker
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@ PaulR I LIKE that idea.

I would add not to block sinks with uncooked rice etc. Had a tenant who had spilled uncooked rice in the sink and when the plumber checked, it had swollen and formed a solid mass! Tenant was not happy that they had to pay for his call out!

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