Letting agents must be ready for increased repairs responsibility
16 June 2015 3127 Views
Recent weeks have seen changes made to the rules that govern responsibility for property repairs in the private rented sector.
Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 has been amended, meaning landlords will now be held responsible for the "structure and exterior of the dwelling-house" as well as any area of the building in which they have an "estate or interest".
Naturally, many landlords will turn to their letting agents to take care of this new responsibility. So, what exactly does it mean?
Repairs to external areas of a rented home have been something of a grey area in the past, with it often being assumed that a landlord's responsibility does not extend beyond a property's interior.
However, this change means everything from stairwells, to parking areas and pathways could fall under the charge of a landlord if they provide direct access to the property being let.
The possible implications of the amended legislation have been discussed by Steve Jones, director of Rentguard Insurance.
"With this increased level of responsibility, landlords will be under added pressure to ensure that they are providing a safe and secure environment for their tenants," he stated.
"Not only do the changes in legislation push greater responsibility on to landlords, they also pose a serious risk. Landlords now face being sued for not carrying out repairs around a property despite not owning the damaged area," Mr Jones added.
Managing more effectively with Rentman software.
More responsibility for landlords will mean more responsibility for letting agents, as property owners look to their agency to take care of any extra amends that are required. As a result, the lettings sector needs to be prepared to deal with these increased expectations.
How can this be done? It's vital for agencies to manage the contractors they hire to carry out repairs as effectively as possible. Depending on the size of the agency, this can be easier said than done.
One thing that can make the process more straightforward is specialist letting agent software like Rentman. This enables your agency to manage all aspects of your contractor relationships in one place. Whether sending job sheets, processing contractor bills and payments, or tracking the complete history of contractor activity, having all this information at your disposal in a single location can make a huge difference.
As the private rented sector continues to grow, so to will the level of scrutiny and responsibility placed on landlords and letting agents alike. Having the right tools at your disposal will ensure you are ready for this development and in the best position to take full advantage of a booming market.
To learn more about how Rentman can enable you to manage your agency more effectively, as well as a host of other advantages visit our website or contact us:
Tel 0844 745 2144
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