Education key to improving letting standards

With the private rental sector playing a pivotal role in the housing market as more people have opted to rent rather than buy there have been many calls on the government to introduce a new regulatory structure to combat rogue landlords and substandard properties.

But rather than regulate the sector through the introduction of more red tape, Graham Kinnear, managing director at Landlord Assist, believes better education is the answer and is calling on colleges and universities to actively promote subjects that are relevant to landlords or introduce new training courses to educate future landlords.

He said courses that provide an insight into the role of landlords and property management as well as the legal and tax implications of property investment would help to create a more knowledgeable landlord community and will go some way to remove rogue landlords and improve standards across the industry in future years.

Kinnear said: “In my view being a landlord is a worthy occupation and one which many could or would consider if they had the right advice and facts available to them.

“There are few, if any, investments which can provide an income (rent) and capital growth through rising house prices and to have a portfolio of property doing that can easily outperform the earnings of many other occupations.

“Indeed there are now so many types of property investment available that I find it a little odd that the universities and colleges have not picked up on it as alternative course, especially as most have established close links with local landlords.

“A course which teaches aspiring landlords about professional practice, the responsibilities of becoming a landlord and managing tenancies as well as successful business strategies will go some way to improving standards across the industry and will be much more beneficial to the sector in the long run than further regulation.”

And he added: “I completed a surveying degree at University back in the mid-1990s and whilst we were introduced to a number of directions that surveying graduates could go in, being a landlord was never mentioned.

“Many of our clients at Landlord Assist are self-made property people who have developed a significant portfolio which will not only provide an income for their retirement but also provide an income generating legacy for their children. Such benefits are not routinely available in other professions.”

Stephen Parry, commercial director at Landlord Assist, said: “It is absolutely clear that there is a shortage of housing across the UK at present and this shortage will only get worse over the coming years.

“Interest rates are at a historic low and money is becoming slightly easier to obtain. With such ideal ingredients in the marketplace it is incredible that more people are not thinking about a career as a property investor or landlord.”