Code of Practice

Landlords Association for Northern Ireland

Code of Practice

 

  1. Introduction
  2. Business Conduct
  3. Standards of Accommodation
  4. Management
  5. Administration
  6. Complaints Procedure
  7. Disciplinary Procedure Landlords Association for Northern Ireland 2 Code of Practice Reviewed November 2015

1. Introduction

1.0 The Rules contained in this Code of Practice form an integral part of the conditions of membership of the Landlords Association for  Northern Ireland (L.A.N.I.). All applicants for membership of the L.A.N.I. will have access to a copy and, in applying, each applicant agrees  to be bound by them. Members renting residential property are also obliged to abide by statutory duties contained in relevant  Housing, Fire Safety, Health & Safety, Data Protection and other pertinent legislation. This code must not be construed as intent to  replace any statutory obligations on members.

1.2 The Code of Practice aims to achieve and promote the highest standards of conduct by members of the L.A.N.I. The Rules are also  aimed at protecting the public against restrictive or unethical practices and provide a means of complaint against a member who fails  to honour them. By incorporating these Rules in the L.A.N.I. it is intended to promote good standards of accommodation and service,  and to develop a useful and mutually respectful, co-operative relationship with tenants, local and central government representatives,  and other agencies.

1.3 While the L.A.N.I. will use its best endeavours to inform its members of current and future legislation, it must be understood that this  cannot be all encompassing, and it will remain the responsibility of individual members to obtain independent legal advice and  guidance on all matters. Accordingly, members must not base any action on information provided by the LANI, or any of its members,  including Officers or from any information contained within any material provided by the LANI without seeking appropriate  independent advice.

1.4 The term “member” shall include individual landlords, management agents and letting agents and all who are partners or directors of  companies and firms.  1.5 This Code of Practice may be subject to amendment from time to time.

2. Business Conduct

2.1 Members shall comply with all relevant legal and statutory regulations when carrying out his/her business.

2.2 All members shall adhere to the principles expected of Residential landlords, management agents and letting agents and aim to achieve good standards of practice in his/her capacity as a landlord, management agent or letting agent. Landlords Association for Northern Ireland 3 Code of Practice Reviewed November 2015

2.3 Members shall at all times have appropriate Public Liability Insurance.

2.4 Members shall be courteous to tenants, clients and the public and shall at all times maintain a professional approach.

2.5 Members shall at all times, abide by the laws of the land which are relevant to landlords, and the Code of Practice of the L.A.N.I

2.6 References provided by a member must be honest and accurate.

2.7 Members shall not use business methods, involving dishonesty, deception or misrepresentation.

2.8 A member shall disclose to the Honoury Secretary of the L.A.N.I., and or tenants, prospect tenants and clients any existing conflict of interest that may arise while he/she is a member.

2.9 A member shall at all times respect the confidentiality of the LANI, his/her fellow members, clients and tenants.

2.10 A member shall not discriminate in his/her dealings with clients and or prospective and existing tenants on the grounds of their nationality, colour, creed, disability, sexuality or politics.

2.11 Members shall give such reasonable assistance as is required by the Housing Executive to enable a tenant to claim housing benefit.

2.12 If Housing Benefit is paid directly to the member and there is genuine over-payment, of which the member is aware, then it shall be promptly repaid to the Housing Benefit Department on receipt of a demand notice.

2.13 Members shall pay all bills promptly within the terms of payment.

2.14 Members shall endeavor to use the services provided by the L.A.N.I.

2.15 Members shall register their details with the Northern Ireland Landlord Registrar. Landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) properties shall also register their properties with the NI Housing Executive.

2.16 Members carrying out property management and letting agent services shall ensure they are familiar with all appropriate current legislation, regulations and Codes of Practice relating to property management and the letting of residential property and all changes affecting such legislation, regulation and codes, in their capacity as an agent dealing with tenants, clients, local and central government representatives and other agencies. Landlords Association for Northern Ireland 4 Code of Practice Reviewed November 2015

2.17 Members carrying out property management and letting agent services shall, at all times, have in place appropriate professional indemnity insurance and appropriate employer liability insurance.

2.18 Members shall respect his/her tenant’s right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the property free from harassment and threat of  illegal eviction.

3. Standards of Accommodation

3.1 Members shall comply with all relevant legal and statutory regulations.

3.2 The accommodation shall be let in a clean and tidy condition, with all appliances working, and an inventory shall be completed at the  beginning of each tenancy.

3.3 Particular attention shall be paid to gas and electrical regulations and regulations regarding fire safety and furniture.

 

4. Management

4.1 Members shall comply with all relevant legal and statutory requirements.

4.2 Members shall use his/her best endeavours to ensure that the heating, hot water, gas and electrical appliances operate properly and  that arrangements for refuse collection and disposal are adequate in his/her rental property.

4.3 Members shall visit let properties periodically to inspect the interior and exterior condition and ensure that repairs and maintenance  are being properly carried out.

4.4 Except of cases of emergency, members shall give their tenant reasonable notice, of not less than 24 hours (unless otherwise agreed  with the tenant), when access to the property is required by the landlord or their representatives.

4.5 Members shall acknowledge promptly all communications received from the tenant.  4.6 Members shall endeavor to attend to any disrepair, for which he/she is responsible, promptly and with minimum disturbance to the  tenant.

 

5. Administration

5.1 Members shall ensure that all their tenants will be provided with a written tenancy agreement and a written statement of the terms of  their occupancy at the commencement of the tenancy. The tenancy agreement shall be transparent, written in plain and intelligible  language and shall:

  • a) specify precisely any rates, taxes, services or similar charges that are included in the rent;
  • b) specify a start and end date of the tenancy and state if the tenancy is periodic;
  • c) contain a contact name, address and telephone number for the provision of serving notices and ease of communication;
  • d) include an itemized condition inventory and
  • e) conditions shall be fair and reasonable

5.2 The landlord shall provide the tenant with a rent book.

5.3 The landlord shall register the tenant’s deposit with one of the approved N Ireland schemes. The landlord will comply with all requirements of the scheme and notify the tenant where the deposit is registered.

 

6. Compaints Procedure

6.1 The procedure which follows will be instigated when a formal complaint is received by the Honoury Secretary. A formal complaint must be in written form, signed by the person making the complaint and it must include a contact address for further correspondence.

6.2 Having received a formal letter of complaint, the Honoury Secretary will appoint 3 officers of the L.AN.I. to form a Complaints hearing Committee, and will notify the landlord and tenant of the date of the hearing of the Complaint.

6.3 The Complaints Hearing Committee will meet at an agreed time and venue within 28 days of the complaint being received. The Honoury Secretary will attend this meeting to record minutes and take instructions on any agreed action.

6.4 At the hearing, either side may call witnesses or give a written statement to be read out at the hearing.

6.5 The Complaints Hearing Committee will decide by majority vote whether the complaint is upheld or the complaint is not upheld. For the complaint to be upheld it must relate to an issue related to the Code of Practice of the LAN.I, and be proved beyond reasonable doubt to have occurred as stated. The Chairman will notify each party of the hearing’s decision, either orally or in writing as appropriate. Landlords Association for Northern Ireland 6 Code of Practice Reviewed November 2015

 

7. Disciplinary Procedure

7.1 Following a hearing of the Complaints Hearing Committee, the Committee will consider whether to instigate disciplinary procedures  against the member. If the Committee decides, by majority vote, to discipline the member it will either:

  • a) issue a formal written warning stating that if a similar complaint regarding the members conduct is upheld at any future date, the member concerned will be immediately recommended for expulsion from the L.A.N.I. or
  • b) recommend to the Committee of the L.A.N.I. that the member be expelled immediately from the L.A.N.I.

I joined LANI because I felt I needed more support and information than I had been getting. In attending the General Meetings I have met many other landlords who face the same issues as myself and I have been able to keep myself up to date with the changes taking place.

SP, Lisburn

I joined LANI because it seemed like the most professional body representing landlords in Northern Ireland. I wouldn’t have known about the changes to the landlords rates or saved myself that 15% on all my properties.

LJ, Dungannon

I have found my membership very beneficial. I now belong to an organisation that is dedicated to our profession and which knows the laws and legislation that go along with it. They are able to keep us up to date with impending changes and represent the Private Landlord at many levels of Government.

JMcS, Newcastle

The advice line is brilliant; whenever I have a problem the office staff takes my enquiry and someone gets back to me with the most up-to-date information.

KR, Portadown