As the demand for private rented accommodation continues to soar, landlords in Yorkshire are being warned to ensure they are operating within the law.
The warning comes after a leading Letting Agency in the county discovered that prosecutions and complaints against private landlords stand at an all time high and in some towns are an incredible five times higher than just 10 years ago. The letting agents Linley & Simpson believe the reason for the increase is partly because of the dramatic increase in the number of homes that are now ensconced in the private rental sector and also because of the increased use of litigation in every area of life in the UK, but say the main reason is that many landlords are not aware of the growing number of regulations they must conform to.
Linley & Simpson Director Will Linley said “Our research shows that the spiralling rise in demand for rental properties over the last decade is matched by an upsurge in complaints and prosecutions. This trend is in part down to the increasingly litigious society in which we live, and in part down to the increasing burden of red tape associated with being a landlord. Most landlords know they should get property insurance and fire certificates, but it is a lot more complex than that. The lesson to be learned from our research is that landlords should employ only an accredited agent – or make sure they are armed with all the necessary knowledge needed to let a property without exposing themselves to legal action and big fines.”
Freedom of information requests show that in Bradford complaints against landlords escalated from just 263 in the year 2000 to over 1,300 in 2010. The most common complaints that lead to legal action against the landlord stem from failing to license HMOs; lack of adherence to health and safety regulations; illegal evictions and failure to manage tenant deposits in a legal fashion.