The Landlord’s Friend has been a long time in the making – I can remember talking to Kate several years ago when she told me about it.
Finally its here – what do I make of it? Well generally my opinion is favourable, with a few caveats.
The Landlord’s Friend – content
The book is divided into three parts:
- Preparing for successful letting
- Letting your property
- Running your portfolio the right way
It is a very practical book and is designed to be used. The chapters are very short and are full of key steps, hot tips, case studies and questions to ask.
It will be extremely, useful particularly for new landlords.
Indeed the first part of the book could be compulsory reading for all aspiring landlords. So many go into landlording with rose coloured spectacles thinking that they can do a good job with no prior knowledge of the industry or any training.
The other parts of the book are also good and will certainly help you avoid bad tenants if you follow its advice. There is also discussion about the menace of cannabis farms and how to avoid them – advice which all landlords need to take to heart. It CAN happen to you!
I have not had time to read the book in enormous detail, however, I was a bit concerned about some of the legal information which I felt in places was unclear and occasionally wrong.
The Landlord’s Friend – areas of concern
For example I would like to have seen some explanation about when an assured shorthold tenancy arises and when you have a common law tenancy and the reasons for this. It is not dependent, as you might think from a superficial reading of the book, on the type of tenancy agreement you use.
The book also, rather confusingly, included reference to lodger agreements.
Lodgers have considerably fewer rights when they share living accommodation with their landlord, but this was not explained clearly. It is possible that readers may get a misleading impression, and perhaps think that these limited rights apply in other circumstances – for example in a rent to rent situation where the landlord lives elsewhere.
Assured tenancies were mentioned, but we are told that they only exist today if the property has been rented to the same tenant since before 28 February 1997. This is not the case – you can create an assured tenancy with your tenant tomorrow if you want (although it is not recommended) and most social landlords use them.
There were other points which worried me and it is clear (to a lawyer) that the book is written by non-lawyers.
I would say that this is an excellent practical guide particularly for new landlords on the business of renting property to tenants. It will be a useful addition to all landlords’ bookshelves.
You can buy a Landlord’s Friend on Amazon here.