In recent times, more and more landlord insurance customers have been coming into the market thanks to favourable conditions with demand and the lack of buyers around. However, for those who are still finding their feet, new proposals unveiled as a part of the Queen's speech on May 8th may be about to further complicate issues.
At the moment, as well as the difficulties surrounding investment and finance, new landlords need to deal with such issues as extensive referencing and background checks to ensure someone is reliable, employed, does not have a bad credit history or a criminal record.
However, the new proposals have stated that more responsibility could be placed on landlords to ensure that their tenants are legally allowed to be in the UK.
It is unclear what owners would be required to check before they allow someone to rent their properties, but it was stated that those not following guidelines and confirming tenants' immigration status will face fines.
While some in the sector were critical of the new move, saying that it makes the market even more complicated and difficult for those landlords trying to make a profit, the National Landlords Association (NLA) backed proposals, saying it is useful to give owners the responsibility for checking legal status.
The organisation's chief executive officer Richard Lambert said: "Tenant checks should include not only an identity check, as suggested, but also whether the tenant has any County Court Judgments, possible aliases and include references from their employer and a previous landlord. Such checks should highlight any immigration irregularities.
"Every landlord should thoroughly reference a tenant prior to offering a tenancy. This is standard best practice which safeguards the landlord’s business."
While checking will become a responsibility of all people who own buy-to-let properties should these proposals be approved, there will no doubt be a raft of issues that crop up, including the fact that there are a great many forged documents in circulation that can be hard to identify.