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Decorate or evict? The dilemma facing few landlords

It is not easy being a landlord! That statement will not always elicit a response that is either printable or fair. The public perception of a landlord over the years has been poor to say the least, and although the misconception that he is a monster and has no regard for his tenants is slowly dissipating, it is still fair to say that apart from his landlord insurance provider he still has some way to go before being described as popular.

Landlord from hell?

A recent case in the USA probably shows why! A real estate mogul in Massachusetts is being sued by the Attorney General’s Office for all sorts of housing law abuses including; anti-discrimination, consumer protection, eviction and toxic substances. Yes that’s right toxic substances. Apparently the landlord preferred to evict tenants with small children rather than re-decorate the property using paint that was compliant with Health and Safety regulation. As mentioned previously the landlord was also being sued for his behaviour towards tenants in many of the 24 properties he owned.

It seems inconceivable that anyone running their business badly can manage to own 24 properties; it would certainly be difficult in the UK today. The great majority of investors in the UK today are good landlords simply because the business model demands it. Anyone running a business knows they have to keep on top of the business or it declines, a landlord is no different. He has to consider, first and foremost his tenant, without a tenant the business is dead in the water.

Keeping on top of the job

The law demands that Health and Safety legislation is adhered to, there are financial laws governing the keeping of tenant deposits and more and more local authorities are requesting landlords to sign up to voluntary agreements. All of these measures are in place to protect the tenant. There is little wonder then that the professional landlord seeks the protection of residential property insurance.

The truth is, it is not easy being a landlord in the UK today but those that take a professional approach to their business find it much easier and more rewarding than those who view the job as nothing more than rent collecting.

By Simon Dack