AIBU to think Landlords should be forced to have some sort of formal training.

(64 Posts)
Peanutbutteryum Tue 04-Oct-16 12:55:24

After reading numerous threads on here from people claiming to be landlords but clearly lack any basic understanding of housing laws and their legal requirements to their tenants.

Too many landlords see letting as an investment where they don’t have to do anything rather than a business with rules and laws you have to abide by. In no other industry could you simply rock up with no training what’s so ever, even stacking shelves requires a two day training period.

Being a landlord will most likely be one of the most expensive things you will do, wouldn’t you want to know everything so you can protect yourself.

There are a lot of amazing landlord who know exactly what they are doing and do everything right. Sadly for every great one there will be one who thinks they can attend the property without any notice, that they can kick people out when they like and not keep the property in a liveable condition.

Even a one day training session would make a big difference. They could run through basic housing laws and what is expected of you. When you take on the role of a landlord you are taking on a huge responsibility, I can’t believe you can do it without any information.

I put this idea to a few of my friends who have had a mixed reaction. AIBU to this would help a lot of problems that come up for people renting.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 04-Oct-16 12:59:42

I've been fortunate with landlords really. But yes, I think some sort of training should be required because it shouldn't be down to luck whether you get good ones or bad ones. Perhaps a condition of buy to let mortgages or required by letting agents before adding them to their books

Okkitokkiunga Tue 04-Oct-16 13:07:29

I don't think it's a bad idea but not applicable to everyone. I'm a landlord and a tenant. We pay an agency to look after our house as we aren't local. I believe we are good landlords. Our landlord is abroad so uses an agency as well. Except he's also broke so unless something is falling down round our ears it doesn't get fixed.

If you are a cowboy landlord chances are you don't use agencies, might not have a buy to let mortgage so could not be highlighted as a landlord. Deposit protection is law but still not followed by many.

So I am not sure how it would be enforceable and at the same time not having the cost of any such course put onto tenants by increased rent unless it was tax deductible.

BelfastSmile Tue 04-Oct-16 13:09:22

We rent out a house (well, we're now trying to sell it), and it would have been really handy to have even a booklet with the rules and regulations in it, a sample contract etc. We have a letting agent, but they didn't help all that much with those kinds of things (apart from the contract); we had to look up a lot of it. Would definitely be handy to have some kind of resource, although training might be overkill for people like us who are just renting one house (because we couldn't sell it due to negative equity) - we're not trying to make our fortunes with it, just not have it lying empty!

LurkingHusband Tue 04-Oct-16 13:18:41

Given the news today that renting has doubled in 15 years, I would expect there to be much better protections for tenants than the current dogs breakfast we have now.

Legally enforced minimum standards of provision, plus annual local authority inspections, and binding tribunals to settle tenant/landlord disputes, a legal requirement to lodge deposits with a 3rd party, and a very careful definition of renting property to the public to prevent Rachmanesque type landlords claiming the 1,000 houses they receive income from aren't "rented" but "let to my family" in a bid to circumvent the law.

That's what I would expect to see in a country where the government says it's for the people.

Are we seeing it ? Then draw your own conclusions.

Private renting is a current issue, as DS has just taken the keys to his first rented flat. (Tries not to sob as the realisation he's all growed up hits home).

ThatIsNachoCheese Tue 04-Oct-16 13:30:13

Absolutely.
My ex landlord gave me one months notice and when I pointed out to her that, legally, she needed to give me two months, she went totally batshit crazy. I had to have someone in my home house sitting while I was at work because she said she was going to come in and dump all my stuff when I was out.
She really was a nasty (thick as shit) piece of work. There was nobody I could go to for help either. Police couldn't help as it was a civil matter.
I'm so angry she got away with it.

lalalalyra Tue 04-Oct-16 13:35:23

I think it would be good to have a booklet of some kind to give to people. I also think there should be a landlord register (I think there is on Scotland) and someone (local council probably) should keep a note of complaints and disputes and any repeat offenders should be somehow banned from renting out property.

There's another rented property in the block I let my flat out in and I despair at the way the LL repeatedly mistreats tenants without any recourse.

I also don't like the suggestion that not using an agency is any kind of indicator of being a cowboy landlord. I don't use an agency because agencies tend to be shit. They are worse Cowboys than landlords in my experience.

BarbarianMum Tue 04-Oct-16 13:39:46

Actually, as a landlady, I think better regulation of the industry is the answer. It should be easier for a landlady to be able to evict bad tenants, and good tenants should be better protected by law. There are lots of measures used on the continent where renting has been the norm for many years to protect tenants that we could adopt. One I particularly like is the idea that the longer a person rents a property, the more notice to leave they have to be given (as long as they are not breaking the terms of the tenancy by non-payment of rent, etc).

Training is useful for people who want to be good landlords, but not much use against the unscrupulous who are a bigger problem.

Sparklesilverglitter Tue 04-Oct-16 13:41:25

Thing is you get bad landlords & bad tenants so are tenants going to get training on how to behave too?

I have rented in my younger years and I had a very nice and fair landlord.

I now own my own house and rent out a property was left in my grandads will, yes to me it is an investment but I think I am a good landlord people get treated with respect and I do repairs quickly, the upkeep of the property is maintained always on my side.

Unicornsarelovely Tue 04-Oct-16 13:44:42

My local authority area is considering a licensing scheme for landlords which would mean that a landlord is committing a criminal offence if they don't obtain a license which includes optional training or other confirmation that they know the law.

I'm all in favour.

LurkingHusband Tue 04-Oct-16 13:47:19

My local authority area is considering a licensing scheme for landlords which would mean that a landlord is committing a criminal offence if they don't obtain a license which includes optional training or other confirmation that they know the law.

Are you in the UK ? Such a move would require a law in parliament first.

PJBanana Tue 04-Oct-16 13:48:35

"Thing is you get bad landlords & bad tenants so are tenants going to get training too"

Doesn't really make sense. The landlord is technically providing a service to the tenant. We're all 'customers' but don't get any formal training on how to be a perfect customer!

I completely agree with the OP. I've had good and bad landlords. Having a shite one is miserable.

If I were to consider being a landlord in future I'd definitely do it through an agency. I'm only aware of a small portion of the rules and regulations of renting out and home and that's enough to put me off!

Pinkheart5915 Tue 04-Oct-16 13:49:58

Surely it only work if all tenants understand the basic of behaving like a decent human being too? Landlords do get a slagging off but some tenants aren't fantastic either.
I also think some people buy a property to rent and don't really realise what that involves. It's not as simple as just renting somewhere out

I have a few properties I rent out and yes to me it is an investment, however my tenants are treated fairly. The properties are always in excellent condition before each tenant takes over. Any repairs that are needed are done very quickly.

I have some wonderful tenants, one couple have rented the house for 10 years. Another couple have been in one of my properties for 8 years. Even the students in my shared house I have to say are fab. In the past I have had my fair share of bad tenants, I have had my properties smashed up, I have had no rent payments for 6 months while waiting to evict.

froubylou Tue 04-Oct-16 13:50:11

Having worked in the industry for a few years I would agree that some landlords are misguided and uninformed. However the information is out there should they decide to educate themselves. There are a couple of forums and at least 1 pay for a membership and get free advice society.

But unless they want to learn how to protect themselves and their tenants a course won't make a blind bit of difference.

And sadly many letting agents only have a very basic understanding of the law.

ReallyTired Tue 04-Oct-16 13:51:03

I think it's better to focus on agencies having trained staff rather than landlords doing training. Property law changes all the time. The job of a good letting agency is to make sure that the landlord complies with the law. I feel that property letting agents should be licences and have to pass exams. There also needs ongoing professional development to keep up with the law.

I can see the sense in landlords who do not use an agency doing training. However many bad landlords know the law. Some people are just plain evil or lazy and no amount of training would solve this.

ReallyTired Tue 04-Oct-16 13:52:53

"My local authority area is considering a licensing scheme for landlords which would mean that a landlord is committing a criminal offence if they don't obtain a license which includes optional training or other confirmation that they know the law."

Newham aleady has such a scheme.

TheNaze73 Tue 04-Oct-16 13:56:39

Surely it's the agencies, not the landlords who need the training. Of course, if it was imposed, people who rent from them would be picking up the tab

Chocolateiloveyou28 Tue 04-Oct-16 13:56:40

Thing is with renting Yes some landlords aren't great and they are normally the ones I always wonder if they knew what they was getting in too. Being a landlord isn't as easy as people think.
You also get some tenants that are TBH just fuckers! They do not care about the property, they do not want to pay there rent and they are quite happy to trash the place before they leave.

Me and dh have a few properties we rent out between us Yes as an investment why else would we rent them out, But we always re decorate and make sure the property is a very good standard before each tenant takes over. We do repairs as quickly as we can depending on the repair, white goods are replace when needed.
Generally as long as my tenants pay rent and treat the house with some respect I am happy and will help them any way I can.

LurkingHusband Tue 04-Oct-16 13:59:50

Newham aleady has such a scheme.

Ah, and a quick gander here shows it to be the case.

OK, next question. Why is this not standard across the country ?

Amethyst81 Tue 04-Oct-16 14:00:19

YANBU, totally agree with this.

specialsubject Tue 04-Oct-16 14:06:07

excellent ideas from Lurkinghusband. So excellent that many of them have been in law for ages.

Legally enforced minimum standards of provision - EPC min ratings coming from 2018 and rising. Environmental health have powers to issue upgrade notices now, and revenge evictions outlawed.

annual local authority inspections - paid for by....? And inspector able to differentiate between crap property and deliberate damage?

binding tribunals to settle tenant/landlord disputes - in place since 2007 for deposits. Evictions only via court process, can be refused if correct paperwork not in place, outstanding repairs, no deposit protected and so on. Many more reasons

A legal requirement to lodge deposits with a 3rd party - in place since 2007.

A very careful definition of renting property to the public to prevent Rachmanesque type landlords claiming the 1,000 houses they receive income from aren't "rented" but "let to my family" in a bid to circumvent the law - examples please, although tax evasion is a crime and has been for....a long time. BTW Rachman dead in 1962, and rent act implemented 3 years after as a direct result. Superseded by housing act of 1988.

landlord training/registration is in force in some areas. Running a training course for those who don't want to do it right will be as effective as speed awareness for those who don't care. However the cost will affect all.

specialsubject Tue 04-Oct-16 14:07:39

sorry - end of fourth paragraph eaten by MN. Should read:

binding tribunals to settle tenant/landlord disputes - in place since 2007 for deposits. Evictions only via court process, can be refused if correct paperwork not in place, outstanding repairs, no deposit protected and so on. Many more constraints on evictions for tenancies starting after October 2015.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 04-Oct-16 14:09:36

Thing is you get bad landlords & bad tenants so are tenants going to get training on how to behave too?

Very true.

No not all landlords are good, but let's not pretend all tenants are either.

LurkingHusband Tue 04-Oct-16 14:11:49

excellent ideas from Lurkinghusband. So excellent that many of them have been in law for ages.

Ah, I wondered why there were so few stories on MN about bad rental experiences. Just goes to show people will make any old shit up with their "stories" of illegal evictions, non working heating, mould and damp, leaking guttering, poorly maintained properties and deposits being mismanaged and not protected.

LurkingHusband Tue 04-Oct-16 14:15:06

p.s. sledgehammer wit aside, I am honestly pleased to learn. As I said, DS has just started renting, so it's all good knowledge

flowers

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