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“I just love looking over and keeping up to date the 108 pieces of legislation that govern the rental of residential property in the UK”
...No East Grinstead Landlord, ever

If you are one of the 634 East Grinstead landlord’s that manages your own property, would it surprise you to know that there are 108 separate pieces of legislation that govern the rental of private houses to tenants. On top of the 108 pieces of law, there are a further 300+ regulations in the mix. Many East Grinstead landlords are now seeing self management as a false economy.

In the last four years, an additional 244 landlords in East Grinstead have converted from self-managed to having their property managed by a letting agent, taking the total number of properties under management in East Grinstead to 992 (out of a total of 1,626 private rental properties).

Now, don’t get me wrong, self-managing your rental property can be a very fulfilling experience, allowing you to build a deep relationship with your tenant and your emergency 24 hour plumber, builder (happy to do small jobs at a drop of a hat), decorators, first name terms with their deposit provider, lawyer and EPC provider to name but a few. (Wow!)

Also, did you know if your tenants deposit isn’t registered, or doesn’t continue to be registered after the end the periodic tenancy upon renewal ... you could be fined up to three times your deposit? With the average rental deposit in East Grinstead being £1,102, each self-managed landlord in East Grinstead could be fined £3,306 per tenancy if the deposit isn’t currently registered. Therefore...

...if every deposit of every East Grinstead self-managed landlord’s property wasn’t registered, the total fines would amount to £2,096,467.

Now of course, I am not suggesting for one minute all the self-managed landlords of East Grinstead haven’t registered their deposits, yet almost on a daily basis, I come across horror stories to that effect. Another two (but by no means all) hot issues that the Courts are cracking down on, are doing immigration ‘Right To Rent’ checks on all tenants (yes all tenants) and confirmation proving the tenant received the ‘How to Rent’ guide. If that second issue cannot be proved (a ‘sent’ email won’t suffice), the landlord cannot serve the section 21 Notice, meaning the tenant cannot be served notice to vacate the property.

To many, it’s really a case of DIY or getting a qualified professional in … as those additional East Grinstead landlords mentioned above have done since 2014. You might say, “Of course you are going to say all this – you are a Letting Agent”. Well the choice really comes down to your time and your knowledge. If a East Grinstead landlord is not equipped, or able, to devote time keeping up-to-date of legislation and law nor doesn’t want to be bothered 24/7/365 about a blown light bulb, dripping taps, have that confrontational conversation with their tenants about missing rental payments, or arbitrate arguments and disagreements between your tenant and the neighbours, it is perhaps better to pass this accountability/responsibility onto a letting agent.

One thing I would say is all letting agents aren’t the same. Would it surprise you to know that letting agents aren’t regulated?

East Grinstead landlords that do use a letting agent should not forget that passing over management to a letting agent doesn’t mean they can disregard legislation and they are still responsible for deposit/rent repayment legal directives, civil fines or action if the letting agent makes a mistake. Therefore, it’s important to pick a respectable letting agent from the start and preferably one who is a member of a professional body such as ARLA or the RICS.

Nevertheless, for those East Grinstead landlords that see their job as a professional landlord and want to be intricately involved in the day to day administration of their rental properties, it can be a worthy pursuit.

If you are a self-managed landlord in East Grinstead, and want to know if your paperwork is in order please feel free to drop me a line and I am more than happy to do an ‘MOT’ on it to ensure you are the right side of the law.

Kate Boyes MRICS

Kate Boyes FARLA MRICS

Group Director

Kate has been letting and managing property for 15 years, having established Alexandre Boyes Residential Lettings in 2003 and Alexandre Boyes Estate & Block Management in 2007. Kate is fiercely proud of the reputation both teams have in Tunbridge Wells & East Grinstead. Kate launched a national product, Resident, in August 2014 being an online property management software that is now utilised by Alexandre Boyes clients enabling them to log in and transparently view information on their blocks of flats and estates.

Kate has a first class honours degree in Land Management from the University of Reading specializing in Investment & Finance, and trained at Nelson Bakewell (now Capita Symonds), a Property Consultancy, in London. She qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2004, and is a Fellow of ARLA. She became a Board member of ARLA in June 2015, representing Kent, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire.

"Our aim over the last 20 years has been to develop Alexandre Boyes into the 'go to' local agent, the alternative choice to the major brands. Contemporary, fresh marketing combined with genuine traditional values and service, and most importantly in depth local as well as professional knowledge make us the obvious choice."

Kate's role at Alexandre Boyes lettings focuses on valuations and new business, procedures & policies, and marketing. In block management she advises on new business, and oversees policy and procedures internally. When she isn't working (which is not very often!) she can be found enjoying a glass of wine at Sankeys or spending time with her three children at home in Sussex.