Handy hints for private landlords

PRIVATE landlords in Northumberland have been given some useful tips to improve their properties.

Following on from local landlord forums organised by the county council, the first county-wide session was held, featuring speakers on a range of subjects of interest to property owners.

They included Johnny Lighten, from the National Landlords Association, who talked about the important relationship between landlords and agents, and Paul Fletcher, from the Residential Landlords Association, who delivered a top tips presentation.

Nigel Davidson, from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, highlighted awareness of fire safety, and Colin Devey, from HM Revenue and Customs, talked about VAT reductions and exemptions for the renovation of vacant properties.

Peter Miller, from Miller Wallace, is a member of the Northumberland Landlords Forum steering group which helped to organise the event, and who chaired it on the day.

He said: “Those attending seemed to find it extremely useful. The speakers provided information on a wide range of subjects which are all pertinent to landlords in managing and improving their properties. As a steering group we are always keen to hear what else is helpful to them so that we can guide the content of future events.”

Providing useful updates from Northumberland County Council were policy officer for equality and diversity Irene Fisher and Mark Penfold from the housing benefits section, who highlighted important changes for landlords following the welfare and benefits reform.

Executive Member for Housing Tom Brechany said: “We want to address a wide range of issues in relation to the private rented sector, including raising property and management standards and bringing empty properties back into use, and engagement with landlords is a key part of this.”

For details about the Northumberland Landlords Forum telephone Kirsty Pentleton on 01670 534527.