There are calls for landlords to carry out an annual property MOT on all properties they rent. The MOT would be similar to those carried out on cars and would give tenants peace of mind when renting a property.
The MOT would cover aspects of the property such as gas and electrical safety and rising damp.
Are they necessary?
As landlords already have to provide the following, it is worth considering what the MOT would actually do, would it combine all the existing elements into a single certification?
- Right to rent checks
- Minimum energy efficiency rating on the property of at least E on the EPC certificate
- Gas and electrical safety certificate
- Fire safety checks
- Provide a right to rent booklet
There is also additional legislation in place covering Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) and some local authorities have introduced selective licensing.
Our thoughts are that ‘rogue landlords’ will always exist much like criminal activity will always exist. The introduction of further red tape and legislation will not mitigate this in any way.
There needs to be better processes and steps that tenants can take to streamline the complaints process.
What currently exists?
The current advice on the Government website states that there are three steps to take if a tenant has an issue with their landlord. These steps are:
- Complain to their landlord
- Make a complaint to their MP or local councillor
- Contact their local council to make a complaint
The full detail can be found here
What is the ideal solution?
The real issue is that tenants need to be educated, informed and able to make complaints easily within a fair and just system that is robust and completely impartial.
If there is a problem with a rental property, the landlord should be given adequate time to fix it. The unfortunate fact is most repairs cannot happen overnight and even homeowners would need to take some time to arrange a tradesman to make repairs.
Piling further red tape and legislation onto landlords will not help the issue and the majority of landlords want to rent a well-kept safe home that tenants will look after, in return all landlords expect is that rent is paid on time.
David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance