Rogue Tenants Plague Local Rental Market

Fortunately, rogue tenants are uncommon but, like bad landlords, it only takes one to affect everyone's perception. This month we have seen 2 – one was jailed for the damage he caused and the other, just left the landlord with a huge mess to clear up and moved on to blight the life of another landlord and their new neighbours.

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Portsmouth Ease Rules Owing To Covid

We have had complaints from members upset that they are being asked to test fire alarms during lockdown – one member who manages 50 properties was worried that he would be a 'super spreader' if he visited all of the houses to test the alarms as requested. When he queried this, it was suggested he phone each of the tenants and ask them to test the alarm while he listened on the phone.Apart from being a bizarre solution, how such a check would ensure that all alarms are working and audible throughout a property is unclear.

The good news is that PCC have now published guidance which hopefully allows a more common sense approach to be taken….. And also, they have finally come into line with other local authorities like Southampton and Bournemouth with an undertaking to "seek to ascertain that the tenant has already made the landlord aware of the hazard and given them an opportunity to rectify this, when taking complaints from tenants" which we have long argued for in preference to their normal practice which is to exclude the landlord and move straight to enforcement.

We also recommend you understand the policy on inspections and investigations during the Covid crisis as it is equally applicable to landlords and we recommend you adhere to it. 

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End Of Tenancy Cleaning Causes Disputes

End of tenancy cleaning causes more disputes between landlords and tenants than any other issue.

So it pays to make sure everyone knows their rights. These include what the landlords responsibilities and obligations are, what level of cleaning is required, what constitutes fair wear and tear, and who should pay for what.

While landlords need to get their property spic and span for new tenants, those departing must leave the property as clean as they found it to avoid losing part of their deposit.

We reproduce this excellent guide published by Alan Boswell Group which covers end of tenancy cleaning, taking you through the process from start to finish, with everything both landlords and tenants need to know. 

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"No DSS" - Not Legal But Justified?

The BBC published research last month showing that although specifying 'No DSS' is illegal, landlords are still reluctant to take on tenants who are wholly supported by benefits. (See the report here). Unfortunately, like most commentators in this space – the BBC are asking the wrong question.

PDPLA Vice Chair, Alwin Oliver did try to balance the debate when interviewed on BBC South Today (broadcast 2nd Sept - members can see a summary of the discussion here) but as is always the case in these situations, the snippet that was broadcast largely missed the point and failed to ask why landlords often avoid those on benefits.

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Local Landlord Facebook Scams

A year ago, there was very little activity on Facebook focused specifically on landlords and tenants - then 'Private Landlords - Portsmouth' popped up, it became very busy and then it appeared to have far more than its fair share of scammers - people pretending to be landlords who were not, offering properties that did not exist and illegally taking deposits. As a result, a whole slew of new Facebook sites for landlords locally have appeared with a range of different approaches to identifying and excluding scammers. 

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Lordly To Replace StudentPad?

Members may remember last year, Jackson Jacob came to talk to us about his student project seeking to improve the tools available to both tenants and landlords.

He has now progressed this to the stage where a new app is being launched, which he says could be a replacement for StudentPad.

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