ARE YOU AN ACCIDENTAL LANDLORD? Using a professional lettings agent can help you protect your rental investment

Accidental landlords are a phenomenon of the current economic situation. With many homeowners unable to sell their property, at least at a price they are happy with, some are renting their property while they wait for the housing market to improve. But according to London’s largest independent lettings agency, Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings, accidental landlords are vulnerable, and one of their most valuable assets at risk, if they do not understand their legal and health and safety obligations. Reports Marc von Grundherr, Lettings Director of Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings who handle residential lettings across London: “Becoming a landlord may seem an obvious solution in a slow housing market, but it is essential to take a professional approach to letting a property. It is a complex business, beset with legislation. Failure to comply can leave a landlord liable to fines and even a prison sentence.” “A serious mistake made by accidental landlords who ‘go it alone’ is failing to investigate a tenant’s references, leaving them vulnerable if the tenant stops paying the rent and refuses to leave. It is an expensive and lengthy process to evict a tenant and can take a year to regain possession of a property. During this time you are receiving no rent and racking up expensive legal costs, as well as repair bills if the tenant damages the property.” “A qualified lettings agent can help you avoid these problems. Choose one that is a member of ARLA (The Association of Residential Letting Agents) to ensure they adhere to a strict professional Code of Practice, as well as The Property Ombudsman and The Dispute Service (which operates the Tenancy Deposit Scheme).” adds Marc. “Take your London letting agent’s advice when it comes to asking rentals and check what you need to do to make your property suitable for tenants, especially corporate tenants who expect a high standard of presentation.” Marc continues: “Non-private sector landlords whose tenants are currently receiving Local Housing Allowance may be considering moving over to the private rented sector if their tenant’s housing benefit no longer covers the rent when new limits are introduced. If you’re in this position you need to think about what this entails – it could mean refurbishment to ensure your property appeals to professional tenants and so attracts a higher rental.” “An experienced property management specialist can offer advice and take care of these and all other issues involved in renting a property. Our property management department here at Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings handles everything from the legalities of letting a property to providing a round the clock emergency repair service.” “Finally, it pays to remember that if you’re hoping to attract a corporate tenant, 95% of companies insist their executives only rent a professionally managed property.” concludes Marc. To find out more about letting a property through Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings, which, with nine offices across the capital, is a leading letting agent in London, go to www.brlets.co.uk Press enquiries: Tracie Lack Tel: 02074336675 brmarketing@brlets.co.uk Editor’s notes: Established in 1956 in Hampstead, London, and now with nine offices in the prime residential areas of London, (and overseas offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Delhi and Mumbai), Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings is recognised as one of London’s largest, specialist lettings and property management agencies. To complement this, they also provide an interior design, refurbishment and furnishings service for London rental investment properties to landlords based worldwide. Media Contact Details Name: Tracie Lack Company Name: BRLets Telephone Number: 02074336675 Email: brmarketing@brlets.co.uk

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