With the UK property market in the midst of a housing shortage, it's all the more important to find landlords who conduct themselves in a professional manner. Although there are many honest and diligent landlords who have good relationships with their tenants, there are also those who seek to turn the desperation of UK home seekers to their own advantage.
So, how can you make sure that your landlord falls into the former category? Here are some handy pointers on things to look out for when assessing the credibility of any prospective landlords.
Is the landlord accredited?
If the landlord is registered with an organisation such as the National Landlords Association (NLA), it means they've met the required standards for membership to that organisation. This is a good sign, as their quality has been assessed and their levels of professionalism are constantly being monitored. You can find out if your landlord is registered with the NLA.
Does the landlord ask the right questions?
A diligent landlord will subject you to a thorough assessment. This normally involves an investigation of your credit history, a request for references from past employers and landlords and an interview. A good landlord will also request proof of identification.
While such a vetting process may delay your move, it does indicate that the landlord prefers to go about things in a professional manner.
Are you asking the right questions?
Putting some questions of your own to the landlord will also give you an idea of how professional they are. First of all, you'll be able to determine how easy it is to contact them and get answers when you need them. A good landlord will be easy to get hold of and forthcoming with information regarding the property.
Landlord responsibilities include ensuring that the property is maintained and that safety standards are met. Your landlord should be able to answer any questions you have about the condition of the property, the gas and electricity supply and any legislation governing the private rental sector.
According to Landlord Blog/Life, the landlord should also be able to provide the following documentation on request:
• A written tenancy agreement
• A gas safety record
• An Energy Performance Certificate
• An inventory of the property
Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you feel relevant or request any documentation you need. If the landlord takes offense, that in itself is a bad sign. A responsible landlord should want their tenants to be thorough, just as a wise tenant ensures their landlord has done their homework.
Have they secured your deposit?
Any deposit you've made on the property should have been secured by the landlord in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. A responsible landlord will have made you aware of this beforehand, but be sure to enquire either way.
Seek professional advice
Any warning signs in the landlord's behaviour should be taken very seriously, as the quality of your landlord is as important as the quality of the property itself. You don't want to end up with a landlord who is not going to hold true to the terms of the tenancy agreement.
If you're still unsure about your rights and obligations as a tenant, or you need some help in your search, don't hesitate to contact the experts at Tepilo for professional advice on the property market.
Featured image "Diary with new iPhone 5S and Pen" via Vicktor Hanacek