Let's Chat: Alexandra Morris interviews Kate Faulkner from Property Checklists
Hi this is Alex from MakeUrMove, I’m at the RLA Future Renting conference in London and I am catching up with Kate Faulkner following your amazing presentation to the room. So, I have got a few questions largely about the landlord. I know your presentation was on valuations of properties but it just, what are the biggest challenges facing landlords right now?
Yes well, I think that the one slide that was relevant was that we all worry in property about location, location, location and actually the mantra now is change, change, change. So, if you think you know it all this year you are probably out of date within the next 30 days so you have to keep up with all the legislation and changes. And not only on a national basis but what is happening in your local authority and of course we have four different housing policies, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland so added complication.
And on that note then why is it really important that landlords join associations like this and what can they get out of it do you think?
Well for a pretty cheap amount of money they actually get informed about all of the legal changes that they need to worry about and best of all if they have got a problem they can ring up and get an answer. And that is, the price that they charge for that, which is all of course tax deductible is absolutely phenomenal. So I always say to people if you go into hospital, better one. Over Easter I was doing the Manchester event and I said to them put your hands up if you went away over Easter, and quite a few put their hands up and I said ‘Well you're all out of date!’. Because there was something like 30 new recommendations come out from the government, on Easter weekend and a whole set the following weekend as well.
So you go on holiday, you get sick, you know you get busy you have got to go out to a property or something it is that easy to miss something that you could get fined up to £30,000 for.
Yes, yes so with the landlords today, the make-up of them. There are not as many full time, really experienced there is a new influx of accidental landlords that might be doing this on the side, part of a future investment. What would your advice be to those new entries and also to anyone considering becoming a landlord in the future?
So, absolutely do your research, particularly on prices and rents. Don’t believe you can buy any property and you will suddenly be rich in the next 10 or 20 years because that is a guaranteed way to fail. So, get your purchase right for starters.
And then the second thing is, if you are new to this, you absolutely cannot do this without the support of a landlords association. Or better still work with a self-regulated who is ARLA, NALS or RICS but most importantly has client money protection. So in just under 12 months client money protection will be a legal requirement, we believe that quite a few agents won’t be able to get it. So if you give your property to somebody that could go bust well guess where you rent is going, because it is probably not in your pocket.
And then on your, in the report that came out on Monday, I know you have not had chance to go over it all completely. The MOT idea, would you say that that’s a little bit like the Rent Smart Wales licensing Scheme?
No, I don’t think it’s about that because that is about training the individual and this is about making sure the property is safe. This is about making sure the property is safe, so it’s much more like. Think about most of our cars on the road are safe because we have an MOT and that is tied into your insurance. And actually, we need to do exactly the same thing as far as a property is concerned.
As soon as a property has been let to somebody that’s in bad condition and worse still, being let to somebody in bad condition by a bad landlord. The cost of getting, of looking after that tenant, getting that tenant out, getting that tenant rehoused. Enforcing and prosecuting that landlord is phenomenal.
So why are we letting all these properties come to the market in the first place, it is much better to do that so that is the idea really behind the MOT.
That’s great thank you very much for your time and talking to me today and for an amazing talk as well, it was really interesting so thank you.