Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Right to Rent Will Drown Me in Paperwork; Victoria Whitlock Says She Can Find New Tenants, No Problem. but Wading through the Government's Rentals Red Tape Takes foreverThe Accidental Landlord

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Right to Rent Will Drown Me in Paperwork; Victoria Whitlock Says She Can Find New Tenants, No Problem. but Wading through the Government's Rentals Red Tape Takes foreverThe Accidental Landlord

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Whitlock

EVERY time I find new tenants it takes me longer to complete all the paperwork because the Government has seen fit to introduce yet more red tape -- and one more tree has to be felled as a result.

When I let my latest property earlier this month it only took me a few minutes to create an advert and I spent just under an hour showing people around before I received an offer, but completing all the necessary paperwork took so long I needed energy drinks to get me through it all.

Creating the tenancy agreement wasn't a problem, I always just write over the same one I have used for years, but protecting the deposit and filling in and printing out all the prescribed information that landlords are legally obliged to give to tenants, along with the energy performance certificate, gas safety record and the Government's new "how to rent" guide, took the best part of an afternoon.

It didn't help that my little home printer kept jamming then ran out of ink, prompting a dash to WH Smith where the bewildering array of cartridge options meant that, inevitably, I bought the wrong one -- so I had to make a return trip.

And now the Government has confirmed that from February 1 next year, its bonkers Right to Rent scheme will be introduced across England -- but not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland -- I will have even more paperwork to deal with every time I have to find new tenants. In case you have been living in a cave for the past year and haven't heard of Right to Rent, this is a Conservative initiative to flush out illegal immigrants by insisting landlords check that someone has a right to live in the UK before they grant them a tenancy.

This means that we will have to check every tenant's photo ID and take a photocopy to keep on file. Of course, this also means that landlords will then be left holding personal and valuable information about their tenants, and they will have a legal responsibility to keep this safe. …

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