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Advice for new landlords


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Hello, my son is a first time landlord aged 25. He has his own house but has come back home and is renting it out via a letting agent. This is the first time we have done this.

The tenants he has have their own letting business in London and therefore are aware of all the rules and regulations.

The letting agency are well aware he is a first timer and i am not sure that between the lettings agency and knowledgable tenants he is'nt been taken advantage of.

The tenants moved in on Friday. Bank holiday Monday they called the letting agent to say the shower and central heating were not working. The central heating was fine when Kev moved out.

Anyway the letting agent called out an emergency plumber after checking with Kevin to get it looked at.

Was it really necessary on a bank holiday Monday in May to need central heating and a shower. Could they not have managed with a bath until Tuesday when the call out would of been considerably less?

Kev has Boiler care with British Gas , calling them would have resulted in him saving money as that is what the care is for. He did'nt think to mention it (his fault), but as the letting agent is aware it is his first time could they not of asked him?

I phoned the letting agent for the gas bill yesterday only to be told it was not there yet, how long should we reasonably have to wait for it and i suppose we are legally obliged to have to pay it, despite the fact they could of waited until Tuesday and no one asked if he had cover.

When Kev lived at the house his friend and dog rented with him. The house was professionaly deep cleaned before the tenants moved in and they are still complaining about dog hairs so we are having to have that done again as well.

The tenants have paid 6 months rent in advance and i know they are in effect our customer and the customer is always right, but they do seem to be most awkward.

As i say we are new to this and we are certainly learning fast.

Thanks Sue.

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Firstly, just because these tenants are allegedly letting agents does not mean they know all the rules as you put it.

I am always suspicious of tenants who pay 6 months rent up front - why did they do that? I am guessing self employed without books or if they are Vietnamese - cannabis farmerstongue.gif.

Just because hot water and heating were fine on day X does not mean they will be fine on day Y. Was it necessary to call the plumber on Bank Holiday - no I would not have said so the following day or week would have been quite fine though the tenants may not agree. Tenants are not always right - remember that.

It is your son's fault for not informing agent he had British Gas Care but check it covers rental property - Your really do have to stop being the overprotective mother!

Deep clean was poorly done - get it done again. If dog hairs in evidence show them to previous cleaning company and demand money back or a re-clean. You lovely son should have inspected the work.

Make sure your agent inspects after 2 months and I would issue a Section 21 4 B notice for possession application at court now ready in case there is trouble at the end of the fixed term.

The only way to be a successful landlord is to learn it all and this place is a good way to start. Now go and swot up on Section 21.


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I would issue a Section 21 4 B notice for possession application at court now ready in case there is trouble at the end of the fixed term.


Thats a new one to me

Should be S21(1)(B) if served during fixed term

S21 (4)(a) if served if the tenancy is periodic (month to month)

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OK Grampa - a slip of the keyboard

Housing Act 1988 section 21 (1) b to give its correct title. - this to be used in the fixed term period of the shorthold tenancy agreement

Housing Act 1988 section 21 (4) a to be used in the periodic part of a shorthold tenancy agreement


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As I read OP, your son's letting agent might just have performed very well on the heating fault. They arranged a fix same day as reported, and a Bank Holiday too! If you use an agent, don't expect say in their choice of action?

Re. British Gas Care, your son would need to check what level of cover it is, it could be everything hot all the way to hot taps, but alternatively might be just boiler only.

Gas bill? If it was a 'small' plumber he/she might not invoice the agent for a month or so. Usually more interested in plumbing than paperwork, ....until hungry!

Unless there's a clear clause in the tenancy agreement to oblige your tenant to pay, then of course you have to pay - the agent didn't know about your BG cover.

Dog hairs? I'd defy anyone professional or otherwise to remove every single hair in one exercise. You could try presenting evidence to contractor for claim, as Mortitia suggests.

And if the tenants really are experienced letting agents themselves and know the tricks, then you do have a steep learning curve. There's no mercy for first time landlords!

Best wishes!

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Lots of bad judgement by the landlord here.....

1. Never take 6 months in advance unless you know why its being offered. Much better to take a monthly rent with the backing of a guarantor or rent guarantee insurance.

2. Never let to lettings agents or any 'experts'. They are likely to run you ragged. I bet they find a new problem to complain about every week.

3. Never assume lettings agent will think for you......provide them with details of what you want and what you want them to do.....don't wait to be asked cos you'll probably be waiting forever.

4. Never let// share with people who have dogs or cats.......you will never get rid of all evidence regardless of how many times you get the place cleaned.

5. Never assume the agent will act in the landlords best interest......if you want them to do that lay down clear rules/ requirements.

Good luck

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Thankyou all for your help and advice, very much appreciated and great to know you are all here to help.

We went back to the letting agent yesterday who were actually very good. There will be no bank holiday call out charge and as we are getting the 3 faulty radiator valves mended there will be no call out charge at all. The Agent sorted that for us. Also the plumber could not find a fault with the shower, so the agent is going to check it themselves.It is not a power shower so i think that may be what they were expecting. There was never any mention it was.

The letting agent arranged the tenancy so we had no say in who was having it, but the agent was made crystal clear yesterday we were not happy, and actually was very helpful.

I fully take on board never to let again to other people experienced in lettings, but they wont be walking all over me.

The radiators needed these valves which i was'nt aware of when Kev lived there so when they are done it will be in everyones interests.

There is a dire shortage of 3 bed houses to rent here and every Agent has waiting lists, so we will have no hesitation in not renewing after 6 months.

Once again thankyou all for your help, especially the first post where the lady said the tenant is NOT always right, it made me feel braver in quoting my concerns to the letting agent yesterday.

Sue xx

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Its good to hear that you have agents doing a good job. There are so many posts about poorly performing agents that it makes a pleasant change when one does good.

The letting agent arranged the tenancy so we had no say in who was having it,

WRONG. The landlord ALWAYS has a say in who their property is let to. Make sure they understand that the final decision in the fuuture is YOURS.

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Glad to hear you're now happy with your agent! Was the plumber they called their regular one?

If so it might be worth considering whether he/she could give your son a cheaper deal than British Gas Care? BG give excellent service (in my experience) but concensus on this site reckons BG very expensive.

You could ask your agent. It would show appreciation.

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