Private landlords who decide against using a letting agent should be prepared to do a lot of work, a solicitor has warned.

Writing for Mondaq, landlord law specialist Tessa Shepperson said there were a number of reasons why owners of rental property may choose to deal with tenants directly.

Avoiding the fees charged by letting agents was the main one, but some private landlords also found it enabled them to get work done more cheaply and to have peace of mind that reference checks on tenants had been sufficiently thorough.

Ms Shepperson said the price to pay for that is plenty of paperwork and checking.

She explained that landlords must ensure they are aware of and complete all the relevant documentation.

This involves not just the tenancy agreement, but also organising an energy performance certificate, checks by qualified engineers for gas appliances and where appropriate, a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence.

Mohammed Sajad Akbar, of Moseley, will probably wish he had followed that advice, after being fined almost £15,000 earlier this week for failing to obtain HMO licences for four properties he rented out in Selly Oak.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18977190-ADNFCR

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