Some people would turn landlords into squaddies, and have freshly shorn newbie landlords forced marched over rough, snowy terrain then vigorously barked at by sour Sgt Majors, and afterwards made to pass exams that last six hours (no break) to test whether or not they’ve learned the correct notice period for an Assured Short Term Tenancy (Accursed Short-Term Travesty).
They would then be marched repeatedly at gurkha speed shouting the requirements of good practice in rhyme like trainee US marines ‘I don’t know but I’ve been told/Two months due if flat being sold! (to a close relative…’)
Or, I’d like people working in the profession of being a landlord to go through regulated, tested, compulsory training (albeit with some shouting. If they are naughty.)
Here’s the problem: landlords have an enormous impact on the daily lives of vulnerable human beings. Buying a place and renting it out endows each and every landlord with enough power to undermine daily security, living standards and happiness. Newbies commonly know nothing, imagining that it’s like a fabulous new hobby/money-making sure-thing, not a business with implications and inherent risks; one requiring some knowledge of law (or a willingness to follow legal advice).
Anyone with enough money can become a landlord. Architects aside, much of the property industry is ruled by unregulated amateurs, with no real possibility of this changing (at least not in the current reality in which we are living.) The Private Rental Sector is gathering up most available properties and clutching them to its bosom, so small-time landlords are increasingly common.
Landlords should be trained at proper courses, maybe at night school (can’t find the time/cost? Well then you don’t get a licence and will be barred from landlording.) They will learn about needing the mortgage lender’s permission before letting a property, and will appreciate the benefits of reasonable, lawful and tolerant behaviour, such as doing timely repairs, or not waltzing breezily through the front door whenever they have the urge to say hello to/harass their tenant, or indeed at all.
They would appreciate the need for insurance, in case things go wrong/payments go awol. This would help them out, and might make the process less stressful. They would also save money on letting agents, encouraging longer tenancies thereby causing less of the dreaded voids (where you can hear tumbleweed rolling softly across the newbuild parks.) They would also learn that things can and do go awry.
They would learn which type of property is best suited to which type of tenant (better when buying and means they won’t expect families to cram into newbuild flats) and when to trust their instincts. They should also be taught about how to make a realistic profit, that is - not by cranking up weekly rents.
I would teach them how to be reasonable, how to behave, how to save themselves from loss. They would be less likely to be standing outside a court scratching their heads wondering aloud: ‘…what just happened?’ Everybody wins. Quick march…