What if your tenant won’t allow access to your property for compliance checks?
While regulation now requires landlords to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) on all their rental properties conducted by a qualified and competent person, at least every 5 years, or face a fine, what happens when the tenant won’t allow access to the property to enable this (or any regulatory issues), to be addressed?
Here Stacey Alexander, one of our experienced Customer Support Managers who deals, on a day to day basis, with our landlords, offers her advice:
Keep communications open
“I always recommend that landlords keep communication with their tenant very open. Try to explain the seriousness of non-compliance with EICR regulation – or any of the various lettings regulations that apply – and position it as an industry requirement not something that you ‘in isolation’ has decided to do. It might also be worth mentioning that whilst you could be negatively affected (due to non-compliance) the tenant could be too, particularly if it affects your ability to continue to let the property to them or, more importantly, the electrics are not safe for them to use.
Stacey Alexander, one of our Customer Support Managers
Keep compliant – ensure you know what your legal obligations are – and don’t forget them
“There are currently 30 plus lettings regulations that landlords need to adhere to and it’s important to be aware of these and remember to act of them, over time, and as new regulations are introduced. The confidence in doing this should mean you can ‘reason’ with the tenant more and explain the necessity for compliance. For some landlords, having more than one property with more than one agent, can exasperate this and it’s often a reason why landlords choose one agent to manage their whole property portfolio – to keep it all together - as our National Lettings Director recently explained.
Provide reassurance that Covid-19 guidelines are followed
“If the tenant has concerns about you visiting the property to conduct the EICR, provide reassurance that this won’t happen and only a qualified and competent person can conduct the inspection and tests and that this will only be completed if Covid-19 guidelines are followed.
At Your Move we’re able to provide reassurance to tenants that we are following Covid-19 guidelines and always instruct our contractors to conduct visits in accordance with these (and we’ve got a compliance team to ensure we’re always ‘on top’ of this). We’ve even produced a handy blog that explains this more and which can help in preparing for a visit.
“It’s important that you keep records of attempts made to complete work, any communications with the tenant, contractor feedback etc. to mitigate the threat on non-compliance. At Your Move we do this as standard and, by using just one internal system, it means that our central support team as well as the branch concerned are all aware of the current situation and can talk authoritatively with the landlord and tenant, as required. If challenged about compliance, the records can prove vital.
Consider the benefits of a Fully Managed Service
“As already highlighted there are many benefits to using an agent to fully manage your property including handling tenant’s queries or concerns, problems surrounding access, compliance with regulations (including the EICR requirements) payment of rent etc. - meaning you don’t have to.
At Your Move we now have a central support team with specialist Customer Service Managers, like myself, in place in support our multi property landlords and its proving highly beneficial. We often act the mediator, the go between, between landlord and tenant, and ultimately, by using our skills and knowledge of the industry and regulations, we can approach sometimes difficult situations in a calm and considered way which some landlords may find hard to do if they feel they are being personally challenged. This way problems can often be resolved far easier and to everyone’s satisfaction and also ensure the landlord remains compliant. It can be a win-win situation.”
Did you know that we’re now offering landlords, new to Your Move our Fully Managed Service FREE for three months (**)
And, for existing Your Move landlords, who may also have properties being managed by other agents, we’re also offering 3 months management fee for FREE and the chance to switch any existing Tenant Find or Rent Collection Service agreement to our Fully Managed one – free of charge for one month (*)