Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Only the Best Landlords Get a Boris Badge; Victoria Whitlock Finds out More Details of the Mayor's Initiative to Improve Rental Accommodation over a Cuppa at City HallThe Accidental Landlord

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Only the Best Landlords Get a Boris Badge; Victoria Whitlock Finds out More Details of the Mayor's Initiative to Improve Rental Accommodation over a Cuppa at City HallThe Accidental Landlord

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Whitlock

HOW many landlords are breaking the law, I wonder? I don't mean deliberately I'm not talking about those dodgy geezers who cram illegal immigrants into sheds but how many of us accidentally fall foul of the rules and regulations? If you're a landlord, do you know how often you should have a gas safety check? Do you also know whether your rental property must have smoke alarms and how many? What about a carbon monoxide detector? Should you have electrical appliances tested every year? What about that deposit you took from the tenant? I'm sure you've registered it, but have you given the tenant all the necessary paperwork to prove it? And do you know how quickly you must return it at the end of the tenancy? If you know the answers to all of the above, well done you are top of the class, but if you don't, you are not alone. I get quite a few emails from landlords who are pretty clueless, which is not surprising when you consider that some of us have fallen into letting property and don't have any experience.

I suspect most of us eventually find the information we need, generally by trawling the internet or asking a good letting agent for advice, and I'm sure the vast majority of landlords try damned hard to stay within the law. But wouldn't our lives be so much easier if there was a free-to-use official website that told us everything we needed to know about letting? Well, I'm told London Mayor Boris Johnson has a team beavering away on such a website, which will be launched by the end of this year. It will also include detailed information for tenants, making clear their rights and responsibilities, and there will be a section for letting agents, too, so we should all know where we stand.

I don't yet know what the site is going to be called but never mind, you'll soon find out because [pounds sterling]250,000 will be spent promoting it early next year. …

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