Novice landlords face legal perils

Would-be sellers turned landlords run the risk of fines and even prison if they let out properties without understanding rental regulations.

Paragon Mortgages is warning that so-called accidental landlords – who let out their properties to avoid selling at a loss – risk fines or prison terms if they don’t comply with the appropriate legislation.

Inadequate deposit protection and lack of gas safety or energy certificates are just some of the pitfalls facing unwitting landlords.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon, says: “The onus is on landlords to comply with all relevant regulations as they are liable if some- thing goes wrong even if they employ the services of letting or managing agents. Ignorance of legislation is no defence.”