Government plans to abolish assured shorthold tenancies and replace them with periodic lets could put landlords’ properties at risk, according to inspection specialists NoLettingGo.
Under the current system, it’s easy for landlords and agents to organise check-in, mid-term and check-out inspections.
But if all rentals revert to periodic, landlords will have to keep track of the tenancy duration and decide how often they want to check on their properties to ensure tenants are taking reasonable care of them, warns MD Nick Lyons (main picture).
A periodic tenancy will end when the tenant wants to leave, unless the landlord satisfies certain criteria to evict, and if the government proposal goes through as part of the Renters Reform Bill, years could pass between the beginning and end of a tenancy.
"Vitally important to maintain a strict inspection regime"
“It’s vitally important that landlords and agents maintain a strict inspection regime to ensure the properties are being properly cared for,” he explains.
“If a property isn’t monitored regularly, the owner runs the risk that it will deteriorate significantly. Problems like damp and mould – which might be relatively simple to rectify if spotted early - might end up being expensive to repair if early warning signs are missed.”
Without a detailed, accurate and reliable record in place at the beginning of a tenancy, landlords will struggle to establish any form of deterioration beyond wear and tear and therefore seek redress through one of the deposit schemes, says Lyons.
He adds: “Higher mortgage rates and tougher affordability criteria have made it difficult for would-be buyers to get a foot on the property ladder, so they are staying longer in rented properties. To protect their investment, landlords should put regular inspections in place to support the detailed, professional inventory which the tenant must sign before they move in.”