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Unbiased buy to let, property investment and letting coaching, mentoring, advice and seminars for landlords from top selling property author and media commentator.

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Private Rented Sector Access Scheme - Reaching Landlords is the Key. Plus A Comment on HMOs and Shared Houses

I’m extremely busy with corporate work right now.

I am working with banks, insurance companies and with the public sector to help them improve their landlord facing products.

For local authorities and housing associations this typically involves helping them make a better job of Local Letting Agency Models, Private Rented Sector Access Schemes and Supported Access Schemes – which really boils down to getting landlords to let their properties to people on their housing waiting lists.

Many clients in the public sector have a fair understanding of what landlords want but the main area they could do a much better job of is to understand how to get large numbers of good landlords on their books.

For the banks and insurers my work usually involves improving the strategy, marketing, product design and training issues around buy to let mortgage and landlords insurance products.

Understanding among the banks of the landlord sector is usually quite poor (and apart from a few banks they tend to be less inclined to accept new thinking than is the case with the public sector).

This lack of understanding of what landlords want is in my view is partly because in the past they have typically relied on mortgage brokers to sell buy to let mortgages and because they still use the same systems that they use for residential mortgages.

For example, most banks send statements at end of the calendar year not end of the tax year – which is, of course, totally inconvenient for landlords who all have to complete a tax return.

But it is still nice to help private landlords from time to time (though my time to do this is ever more limited and I simply don’t have the time to answer every email.)

Multiple Tenants in a Shared House

One enquirer recently wrote to me enquiring about multiple tenants in a shared house and the situation where there are four co-tenants that are living in a house.

When the lease was up, two of them who were now married wanted to sign the lease without the other two but one of the others says that he is not leaving.

He asked me, “If the lease is signed without the others, do they have any right to stay? If they do stay how can you get rid of them?”

This case highlights one of the dangers with shared houses and HMOS because no matter how you do it this sort of situation does come up a lot.

Basically though, this is not the landlords problem.

The fact is, unless stated otherwise in the agreement all tenants are jointly and severally liable so must all start and end the contract together.

This means they are all in practice individually responsible for whole rent until such time that all of them end the agreement, even if one or more does not live there anymore.

So the onus is on tenants to agree about leaving among themselves and if they can’t, that is tough on them - they should not have entered into the agreement with the others in the first place!

In this instance, if the landlord really wants to force a resolution (and he doesn’t have to), the only way out is for him to give them ALL notice under S21 and follow normal steps to recovery.

Then once the old agreement ends, he can start a new agreement with whoever he likes.

This case is a pretty good example of why shared houses are a headache.

And despite what the promoters of HMOs say, large shared houses involve a lot more of this kind of work which in practice eats into the extra yield you can earn from HMOs and shared houses.

Election Fever

So, the election is on us already and the newspapers are now more biased than ever - reflecting their particular political allegiances.

I was reading the “Telegraph” the other day (someone left it on the train) and after having read it, I can see how readers of it could really feel that we are on the edge of Economic Armageddon in the UK. All caused by “This Labour Government” as the Telegraph would undoubtedly put it.

That’s why I stick to the non political FT - to understand what is really happening in the economy. I love to read it on a Saturday. And though things are bad, they are not that bad!

However, even in the FT, there are some bits I skip.

For example, I can never see the point of studying charts to predict a stock or currency’s future performance.

What happens to a stock’s price, just like in property, is driven by fundamentals and cannot be sensibly predicted by charts in any way.

Well, that’s my view, at least.


LettingFocus.com is the home of landlord information.

I’m David Lawrenson, a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years and author of “Successful Property Letting” – the UK’s top selling commercially published property book for the last 3 years.

Services to Businesses and the Public Sector

Primarily I am a consultant to banks, local authorities, social housing providers and other organisations – helping them with their landlord facing or buy to let product strategies and services.

For example, I help banks improve their buy to let mortgage lending practices and I help housing association / local authorities find private landlords (private rented access schemes, local letting agency models etc.)
I also write for property websites and am regularly quoted by the broadcast media.

Services for Private Landlords

We also find some spare time to help landlords and property investors by coaching them in how to make money in the private rented sector using ways that work, which are ethical, fair to tenants and which involve minimal risk to the investor.
We pride ourselves on giving independent unbiased buy to let advice on either a one-to-one mentoring / coaching basis or through our occasional group seminars. With no links to property firms, developers or bridging loan providers we can advise on where and what type of property to buy for investment and when to buy it. We also show you how to manage tenants properly.



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David Lawrenson 2009. This blog is updated roughly once a week usually on a Monday or Tuesday.

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