Landlords Defence

Services For Letting and Managing Agents

Providing Agents with a comprehensive range of White Label services to help both Agent and your Landlord Clients avoid massive Penalties and Fines. Ensuring you and they become – and remain – compliant with the Legislation and Regulations 

Legislation and Regulations Can Be Overwhelming. The Good News is Help is Close At Hand!

Let’s Get Started

Pre-Licence Property Audit

A very high proportion of rental properties – be they single let or HMO – are not fully compliant with the

  • Housing Act 2004
  • The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation England Regulations 2006
  • Plus…
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  • Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • HHSRS Housing health and safety rating system
  • Immigration Act 2014 (Right to Rent)
  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • LACORS – Fire Safety
  • 362 Different Authorities (LHA) with individual and unique Property Policies

BEFORE you apply for a licence (particularly if your property is already operational and you are found to be ‘in breach’ of regulations), Landlords Defence specialist property auditors ca inspect your property and prepare a full Specification of Works that are needed to make you fully compliant.

Armed with this, and of course, putting plans in place for the works to be done, you can submit your licence application with certainty.

HMO Design

Have a property that you want to make into HMO?

  • What is the best layout for your target type of tenants?
  • What is the optimal fire detection system for you to deploy?
  • How can you fit-in the required number of kitchens, sinks, food cupboards, cooking appliances, fridges and freezers?
  • Should you put tea/coffee stations in individual room?
  • Should you put fridges in bed rooms?
  • Which walls and ceilings need additional 
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    fire protection?

    • Fire extinguishers?   Fire blankets?  Emergency lighting?  Emergency exit signs, Safety glass required in windows?   Window Restrictors?
    • Protected escape routes.  Means of escape windows•
    • Adequate cost-effective heating and water for baths and showers
    • En-suites and kitchenettes – Council tax inspections

    So many things to get right…

    Whether it’s a 3 / 4 person not (yet) licensable property,

    One where an Additional HMO licence is required

    Or a 5+ person Mandatory HMO licensable HMO, you NEED your plans to be complete before you approach the Council for a licence.  

    Because even on a 3-person HMO you’re liable to fines under the HMO Management Regulations.

    You really need to have compliance “designed-in” to your HMO from the outset ensure you don’t get massive fines later. 

    Compliance Audits

    To judge whether they can fine you, Councils use HHSRS – the Housing Health and Safety Rating System – to assess whether you have breached any of the HMO Management Regulations.

    Remember that all HMOs – even those consisting of only three people – MUST comply with the HMO Management Regulations.

    Councils are not just targeting ‘rogue’ landlords with their £5,000 per breach (or up to £30,000 if severe) Civil Penalty fines. Even good landlords who make a mistake

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    are being prosecuted.

    Landlords Defence can assist by coming into your HMO and performing a full compliance audit – reporting to you what works need to be done to make your property fully compliant – before the Council inspects and fines you!

    We can also assist with managing or sign-off of works and final compliance re-audit to ensure you’re as compliant as can be.

    Fire Risk Assessments

    Every HMO from 3 persons upwards (whether it needs a licence or not) MUST have a fire risk assessment.

    You can do these yourself if you can demonstrate that you’re a “competent person”.
    Or you can let us do it for you.

    Is a fire risk assessment mandatory – well it’s not a legislative requirement, as such. But heaven help you if there is a fire in your property and you are unable to produce…

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    your fire assessment to the insurers and the inquest.

    They will throw the book at you!

    So, any sensible landlord will make sure they have a regularly updated Fire Safety Assessment that is held off-site from the HMO.

    Contact us to help write your Fire Safety Assessment.

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    Schedules of Works

    If you have an Improvement Notice from the Council,

    Or if we’ve completed a Compliance Audit on your property

    Or if you’re simply wishing to do have improvement works undertaken, our experienced property developers can draw up a full ‘schedule of works’ for agreement by the Council and to be used to obtain builders/trades quotations.

    Licence Application Service

    • Selective Licence
    • Mandatory HMO Licence
    • Additional (criteria) HMO Licence
    • Section 257 Licence
    • Selective + HMO Additional

    Even when your property is fully compliant with the Legislation and the Regulations, we all know that there are right and wrong ways to fill in Government forms

    With a long track record of applying for Licences for…

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    our own and our clients’ properties we have a lot of experience in filling them in the ‘required’ way.

    This isn’t a substitute for doing the right things in terms of maintenance and management, but it sure makes things go far more smoothly and successfully. 

    Far better than you ‘guessing’ what to put and how to be ready for the Council’s inspections.

    PLUS – while Council’s Housing Officers will often – as part of a licence application – DEMAND that you do EXPENSIVE things that they they feel would be good to do, often there is no legal basis to require you to do them.
    This is where Landlords Defence really does DEFEND you against unnecessary and unfounded demands!

    Managed Compliance Services

    Compliance with the legislation and regulations, particularly in HMOs from 3 persons upwards, is a dynamic requirement.

    Best-in-class HMO landlords are now committed to fortnightly or even weekly inspections. 

    Old fashioned quarterly inspections are…

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    no use whatsoever! 

    We can now provide a fortnightly or weekly inspection service on a ‘done for you’ basis. 

    Please contact us to discuss your requirements from one HMO property to large portfolios.

    Alternative Licence Holder Service

    Sometimes things happen and your health or other factors mean that youre no longer considered by the Council to be suitable to hold an HMO or Selective Licence.

    You’ve then got a major problem because if you don’t hold the necessary Licence you’re in breach of the Housing Act and liable to BIG…

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    penalty fines.

    And if youre not considered suitable (or if you yourself decide you’re not really able to take responsibilty for all the compliance issues a Licence demands) you need to find someone else to take on that function.

    That person needs to be a highly competent Licence-holder in their own right. And trustworthy.

    Because we at Landlords Defence are property owners and investors ourselves, we have the right sort of people on-tap. We can affect the introductions and the necessary legal agreements for you.

    Not something your solicitor would be able to do!

    Building Works Inspection and Sign-off

    Our experienced property developers can inspect building works you’ve commissioned on your property(s)

    We will audit the works and and sign them off (or otherwise) against the schedule of works, and required quality levels.

    We can also check that all the necessary electrical, gas safety and building inspection certificates have been obtained.

    For Licence applications and on-going compliance.

    Testing & Certifications

    • Gas
    • Electrical
    • Fire Detection Alarms
    • Emergency Lighting
    • PAT
    • EPC
    • Furniture
    • Legionella
    • Health and Safety – HHSRS
    • Asbestos

    The time is coming when all housing will require testing of all of the above – and Landlords Defence is ready…

     

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     to help with all of them.

    Compliance on all of these fronts NOW means better, safer homes.

    It means safe and protected occupants.

    Which means that you as a property owner, landlord or manager are also safe in the knowledge that the tests are complete and certified by competent and authorised professionals. 

    All of which makes you a better landlord, owner or manager and far less likely to suffer ounartive Civil Penalties and Fines

     

    Overseas Landlord Licence Holding

    A growing number of Councils require that the holders of Selective and HMO Licences for properties in their jurisdiction must be UK resident.

    It may well be that this is becasue they know how difficult it is to contact overseas landlords and that they have very little power to force them to take action.

    Whereas, of course, UK-based Licence Holders are much easier to…

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    hold to account and prosecute where they chose to.

    We can provide a UK Licence-holder service for overseas landlords to enable them to be able to obtain necessary Licences and operate their UK rental properties legally.