This week’s headline grabbing news of Britain’s first property rental ASBO being issued to a landlord in Plymouth highlights to potential landlords and tenants that the days of Dickensian slum landlords are numbered. Mr David McCabe recently appeared before Plymouth Magistrates’ Court after Plymouth City Council launched pioneering legal action against him. Having ‘specialised’ in slum accommodation to the vulnerable in society for thirty years, Mr McCabe had repeatedly failed to comply with housing regulations and improvement notices issued by the council. A lawyer for the council said, “Mr McCabe’s property did not meet modern housing standards and were let to vulnerable tenants. The council tried to work with him for many years and he is brought before court as a last resort.”
This appalling case highlights how careful we all have to be when dealing in the rental market. There are three golden questions that prospective tenants should always ask before moving into a property:
Is ths property managed by an agent or looked after by the landlord?
What is the usual period of time to get repairs done?
Can I see the gas safety certificate and the EPC?
Remember, if an agent or landlord says ‘don’t worry we will get that done after you move in’, don’t move in!