Advice for landlords
There are around 6,000 privately rented homes in Rushcliffe, which are an essential part of the local housing market. We help landlords in a variety of ways to keep them informed of legal requirements and provide information to help them avoid problems before they arise. We want to work with landlords to promote a professional sector, with high-quality properties that meet local people's needs.
If you are considering buying a property to become a landlord for the first time, you may find this guide from Which? a helpful summary of your obligations. (Please note, we do not endorse the content of external sites, and can make no guarantee of its accuracy.)
Tenant and eviction issues
Housing law can be complex, so it is always best to research the area thoroughly before you decide to rent your property out. The Government has published “Top Tips” on assured shorthold tenancies, which are a good starting point. If you are having problems with a tenant, it is always best to seek independent advice. Many problems can be resolved through communication and mediation, which will not leave you with an empty property that you then have to re-let.
If you want to bring the tenancy to an end, you need to serve the correct notice and follow the correct legal procedures to avoid carrying out an illegal eviction. The Government has published a fact sheet on this issue but, if you do not fully understand the law, it is vital that you seek independent legal advice. Please note, our Housing Options Team acts on behalf of tenants to prevent homelessness, so we are not able to provide legal advice to landlords.
My tenant can't pay the rent
If your tenant has lost their job, or lost some of their income, you don't need to lose them as a customer. They may be able to claim Housing Benefit. With our Express Delivery service, we'll guarantee to decide their claim in 24 hours, so you don't have to wait a long time to hear whether they will get help with the rent.
Most tenants who claim Housing Benefit pay their rent with no problems. But if you are concerned, you could help your tenant open a rent account with Nottingham Credit Union. Their Housing Benefit is paid in and then paid directly to you, so it cannot be used for any other purpose. There is a small charge for this account, but it may be good value, compared to the risk of rent arrears, or the costs of having to find a new tenant and relet your property.
Minimum property standards
Sometimes we have to inspect rented properties, and sometimes we are requested to by the landlord or the tenant. When we inspect properties, we use the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS). We may find a Category 1 hazard, which means there is likely to be a serious risk to health and safety within one year. Where we become aware of a Category 1 hazard, we must take action. Where there is a Category 2 hazard, we have more discretion, and the action we take will depend on the risk, who lives there and potential effect on visitors or the local area. We will always consult the landlord before taking action, unless there is an imminent danger or we cannot contact the landlord.
DASH Services have published a guide to "the ideal property", showing landlords what they can do, room-by-room, to meet the required standards and avoid any problems.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property occupied by members of more than one household who share amenities and facilities. This includes houses converted into bedsits and flats, shared houses, and those in which students live. You must have a licence from the Council to let an HMO. You can find full details and check whether you need a licence on our HMO licensing page.
Landlords must provide their tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate for the property they are letting. Energy efficient homes are more likely to be let easily, and to have more satisfied tenants who stay for longer, as well as having a lower impact on the environment. You can claim tax relief on energy efficiency works up to £1,500, and you may find that you can get work done for less than the high street price by joining a collective purchasing group.
If you want to find out more about what you can do to improve energy efficiency and, what grants, discounts and rebates are available, see our Energy Efficiency pages.
Rented homes are statistically more likely to be subject to burglary than owner-occupied ones, particularly if their owner appears to have invested less in security than neighbouring properties. You can find information about how to keep your property and your tenants safe on our Community Safety Partnership’s website.
Unipol student accreditation scheme
If you let your property to students in the Greater Nottingham area, you should consider joining the Unipol scheme. Unipol will advertise your property free of charge, and is endorsed and promoted by the local universities and colleges. The scheme is designed to:
- Give landlords a clearly defined set of standards to meet (the Unipol DASH Code)
- Recognise and promote landlords whose properties meet the required standards
- Give confidence to occupiers of properties knowing that basic standards of fire safety and welfare have been achieved.
The scheme is entirely voluntary but those landlords who choose to participate will receive a certificate of accreditation and continue to have their properties advertised by the participating universities and colleges. Over 1,000 properties have been accredited in the Greater Nottingham area so far.
For details of how to join the scheme or for further information, please contact our Environmental Health Team on 0115 914 8322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greater Nottingham Landlords' Electronic Newsletter
If you own property in the area, why not subscribe to the free Greater Nottingham Landlords' Electronic Newsletter? This is produced every two months and provides a range of useful news, advice and resources for landlords. It is an excellent way to keep up with changes to regulations, issues that may affect your tenants, and what's happening in the local property market.
The newsletter is produced in partnership between DASH Services, the National Landlords' Association, East Midlands Property Owners Ltd (EMPO), Nottingham City Council and Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe Borough Councils.