I was thrilled to be asked a few months ago to join the TDS Charitable Foundation board. I am a firm believer that if landlords and tenants had a better understanding of how to let and rent a home, many of the problems that hit the headlines almost daily just wouldn’t exist.
One of the key problems in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) is that there is so little robust research carried out, the ‘general view’ of the sector is often skewed, particularly in the media.
This was the first interaction I had with the TDS Charity. Having explained that I didn’t have the resources to produce the research I wanted, it was suggested that I applied for funding to help rectify some of the misunderstandings. I was a little nervous as I wasn’t particularly experienced at putting together applications for funding, but I was grateful to receive help and guidance to get the application right and happily received the funding to produce 12 reports which can be found here.
The first report showed that landlords weren’t typically ‘greedy’ nor ‘evil’, many owned just one property and when they flouted the law they often did this due to a lack of knowledge of how to let properties legally and safely, not an excuse, but in many cases, poorly rented properties weren’t necessarily done ‘on purpose’.
The fourth report was one of the most popular which tackled one of the most contentious issues in the PRS – damp, condensation and mould. The funding allowed me time to bring together experts in this field to look at the causes, how to diagnose the issue and how to solve the problems, focusing on educating agents, landlords and tenants on their individual responsibilities.
Reports seven, eight and eleven looked at the financials of lettings, looking at the real returns and comparing investing in buy to let today versus the early 2000s. We even looked into helping parents understand all the things they needed to consider when comparing the cost of paying for student accommodation versus buying to let while kids were at university.
Hopefully these reports have been widely used by the industry, landlords and tenants to improve education on some of the key issues in the private rented sector and how they can be solved.
Moving forward, while we are in the middle of emergency eviction legislation, our courts are closed and we are likely to be heading towards a tricky recession, I look forward to supporting the Foundation to help fund new essential projects to improve best practice in the PRS, reduce conflict and ensure that the ever changing legal rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants are more widely communicated.
Alongside Kate’s appointment to the Board, The Foundation has also welcomed John Kraus, Head of Sustainable Urbanisation at RICS as a Trustee.
The TDS Charitable Foundation is currently welcoming bid funding applications with a deadline for submission being 5pm on Friday 25th September 2020. Visit the website here to find out more about the TDS Charity and the bid funding available.