Oops, I seem to still be a landlord...
Despite my attempts to become a business owner, with my move to holiday letting, being a landlord is a responsibility that is hard to escape.
Buckle up for the latest landlord rollercoaster
Recent licensing changes have been dominating my ground this month, despite my flight from HMO and rentals I, unfortunately, have a few 257 HMOs….
I am feeling the landlord pain again. One of the great things about serviced accommodation is the lack of legislation and the self-policing nature of the business. A self-drawn fire risk assessment has just become required, but this does not involve actual cost, a host is considered to be a competent person and, if you keep your property in good shape (which a host will, for fear of bad reviews) it is easily managed as there are many keen hosts looking to take on properties for management. In addition we get to avoid EPC certificates (try achieving that on your yurt or shepherds hut rental) which is one fewer bits of paper to pay for and file neatly away.
The 257s are a different matter. A '257 HMO' is a converted block of apartments, that does not meet 1991 building regs. Is the licence just for the communal areas? If a flat in the block is owned there is no access so it can't be policed. Is the rule 66% owner occupied or 33% rented, or does the non-residence status of a holiday let (neither rented nor owner occupied) exempt or include it in licensing? Would the manager of a single flat in a block even know if the others were rented or owner occupied? Would each owner/renter/host need to apply separately? Although I am not losing sleep over it yet I feel the noose of landlord stress returning to my hitherto carefree business plan.
With some sterling assistance from PDPLA and NRLA I will be left several thousand pounds out of pocket with a not-very-entertaining tale to tell down the pub. Will my tenants and guests be any better off? I am sure that they will rest easy but will not know that all this is going on in the background. At least, thanks to PDPLA, I am not alone in this useless pursuit.
Head down on the computer I pull the available certificates for gas and electrical safety. My back-of-an-envelope PAT testing needs tabulating to look a bit more professional. Fire alarm tests, EPCs (incidentally you can't get an EPC for a communal area as it isn't residential accommodation) and some old building regs certificate from 2005 (missing of course) must be produced.
On the other hand, my properties continue to provide me with decent food on the table and a nice place to live, mustn't grumble ;-)!
Life has been getting in the way, coming back from an extended trip (to re-evaluate following separation from my second husband), I dwell on the lessons learned from divorce number 1. Nothing is forever and my dreams can now be shaped in my own image instead of fitting in with a partner and trying to find common goals in retirement. Separation can be achieved amicably and War does not have to ensue. Of course, it is all a lot easier once parenting is done and dusted! Does running holiday accommodation still fit with my desired future? My trip means that I am way behind with a load of tasks but I am back now, ready to catch up and crack on. Far too busy for existential questions, long may it last!