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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

Letting Only TDS Seminar, St. Hugh’s College Oxford

We recently ran a very successful event specifically for our ‘Letting Only’ clients. These are landlords who we work with to find, reference and administrate high quality tenants, but then who choose to manage their properties themselves.

We ran our first Letting Only seminar in the autumn of 2010 covering a range of legal updates.

For our second event we put on 3 main speakers:

–          Ben Beadle from The Dispute Service to talk to the audience about deposits, disputes and managing the end-of-tenancy process.

–          Mark Cairns from Bricks & Mortar talking about new flues in voids regulation

–          Mary Channer from Decorum Interiors on the latest furnishing trends

Ben Beadle was the main draw as nowadays landlords have to comply with a lot of serious legislation regarding deposits, for example:

a)     All deposits must be held in a Government-approved scheme within 30 days of receipt of funds

b)     The tenant must be given details of which scheme within 30 days of their tenancy starting

c)      The deposit must be returned within 14 days of the tenancy ending. If there are disputes, the remaining amount must be returned and the TDS notified of the situation.

The Dispute Service are one of the Government’s licensed schemes. They hold deposits and handle dispute resolution when the need arises.


Some of the main points from Ben include:

–          48% of the funds after dispute go to the landlord and 51% to the tenant, showing there is no ‘tenant bias’ operating

–          “Betterment” is not allowed in any situation – any claim for funds must take into account the age, lifespan, expected age, length of tenancy and volume of tenants

–          Forensic documentation is the golden rule. You need to have a great, forensic inventory. You need to have photographic evidence of any problems. The more evidence there is, the less ambiguity

–          All the necessary clause for TDS must be in the tenancy agreement

–          Negotiating a settlement is always in the best interests of both tenant and landlord.

While this may seem second nature to a quality letting agent, it can never be reiterated enough to those landlords who manage property as a hobby.

The audience were rapt and asked plenty of questions at the end.