As many Belfast landlords will already be aware, 2017 is a big year for landlord registrations.
The scheme was introduced at the beginning of 2014 and Landlord Registration lasts for three years before expiring - so everyone who registered during that first year needs to be on the ball about getting it renewed.
While the Stormont stalemate may be continuing, thankfully our civil servants are working away to keep the departments ticking over. Even better - this is a piece of paperwork you can complete entirely online if you wish.
Visit https://landlordregistration.nidirect.gov.uk/ if you need to:
However, if you are anything like me, you'll be reassured by the idea of a competent human available to answer any questions or tackle any tech gremlins, so just email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0300 200 7821 if anything goes awry.
If you're not a fan of online admin at all, you can still renew the old-fashioned way with a paper form. Click here to download and print off the form, which you (or your agent) can fill in and send back.
It should be noted that you should NOT send payment with the paper form - the department will contact you with details of how to pay once they receive your form.
The Department for Communities will be emailing all landlords with a renewal notice four weeks before it expires, so if you registered in 2014, keep an eye on your inbox or set up your smartphone to send you notifications of new messages if you're not really an 'email checking' kinda guy or gal.
Utilise those contact details above if you haven't received it and think you should have.
Renewing as an individual landlord is relatively straightforward, but some people get a bit flustered when it comes to managing this as joint owner landlords, so I thought I'd break down the process here as simply as possible.
Number one thing to wrap your head around is that there should be a Lead Landlord, with all other landlords known as Joint Owners.
You will need:
Log in at https://landlordregistration.nidirect.gov.uk/ and select 'Manage my registration'
On the Property Details screen, click 'edit' beside the relevant property address.
Under 'Property Information, Property Ownership' click "I own this property jointly with others".
On the next page, click 'Add a joint owner' and fill in their registration number (if already registered), email address, full name and click 'Add this joint owner'.
A keycode will be created for each joint owner - give this to them as soon as possible as they need it to complete their own renewal.
Once you have added all the joint owners, click 'save and continue'.
The lead landlord pays the fee for all joint owners as a group.
You will need:
Visit the address above for Landlord Registration homepage and click 'Manage my registration' (or create a new account if necessary).
On the Property Details screen, click 'Remove' beside the address of the relevant property and click 'Remove' on the next page. Click 'confirm' on the next screen.
When returned to the Property Details page, select 'Confirm New Joint Ownership' and then enter the keycode given to you. Click confirm.
Repeat for any other properties jointly owned.
We hope this has been a help but of course, if you have any queries about this or other landlord and property issues, my door is always open. Pop in to the office at 197 Lisburn Road, email me at email@example.com or give me a buzz on 028 9066 3106.