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Association rapped over advice to landlords
The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) has been criticised for encouraging harassment after it published advice for its members to visit their prospective tenants without warning before entering a tenancy agreement with them.
In a RLA blog post, the organisation circulated a list of ten top tips for landlords who are trying to find new tenants, which also included advice to be cautious regarding people who live with their parents as “often they become a problem”.
The advice also included the suggestion that landlords should “make an unexpected visit to where [prospective tenants] live now – that way you can see how they look after that property and confirm they actually live there.”
The RLA represents more than 18,000 UK landlords who together let more than one million British homes between them.
The blog post went so far as to recommend serving a tenant with notice to leave on the first day of a tenancy, to avoid delay in removing them at the end of the agreement. This will soon be an illegal practice following the passing of the Deregulation Bill in Parliament.
Once a property has been rented, it is illegal for a landlord to visit without providing at least 24 hours’ notice in writing, and checking on prospective tenants on more than one occasion would be in breach of people’s privacy.
Alan Ward, of the RLA, said the advice for landlords had been published online by the association some years ago and that it had been circulated again by its marketing team, though its content was out of date.
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