A survey of 5,000 landlords by an online estate agent has revealed that 50% are not prepared for the Right to Rent legislation that, barring a last minute change of plans, will come into effect on the first of February.
Indeed, one in five were oblivious to the imminence of the new legislation, believing they had until 2017 to prepare, while 3% thought it would not be effective until 2018.
The survey was very broad, revealing plenty of other interesting insights. It was found that only 10% of landlords provide the correct information to tenants at the start of a tenancy. Nine out of ten landlords were unable to correctly identify the characteristics of a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Some 16% do not provide a valid contact address on tenancy agreements, running the risk of their contracts being rendered null and void.
It was suggested that this lack of knowledge is a result of the influx of new legislation combined with the growing number of ‘accidental’ landlords in recent years.
More positively, however, most landlords are well versed on the fundamentals. The overwhelming majority (95%) knew their gas safety responsibilities, 77% were aware of the need for an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and 76% were aware of the need for a smoke alarm on every floor of a rented property. Some take fire safety very seriously, with 7% having one installed in every room!