More changes impacting on landlords
In addition to the impact the Housing and planning act will have on landlords and the industry, make sure you are keeping abreast of the following:
- Stamp duty surcharge
- Phasing out mortgage tax relief
- Scrapping of the ‘wear and tear’ allowance
- Tenants’ right to request energy efficiency improvements
- The Houses in Multiple Occupation and Residential Property Licensing Reforms
- Right to Rent laws
- The proposed letting agent fee ban.
- Local licence schemes
- Deposit schemes
- Section 21 reforms
Many of the above carry a financial penalty from an external authority. In addition many will impact on your ability to remove a tenant should the situation arise. Recently I have had occasions where a landlord has come to us and asked for our services to evict a tenant, when we start the process we have found that they are foul of some of the above and it then takes more time and more money to remove said tenant.
My tip to any landlord or letting agent is make sure your tenancy agreement is not falling foul of the above, make sure any communication with a tenant is documented. There are already tenant eviction cases that have been found in favour of the tenant despite massive rent arrears due to legal issues over recent changes.
As if all the above is not enough to deal with from April 2018 we will have the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) Regulations for England and Wales to comply with. This regulation will mean that landlords must ensure that properties they rent in England and Wales reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before granting a tenancy to new or existing tenants. Should there be a failure to adhere to this new law, the guilty party could receive a fine of up to £5,000 or 10% of the rateable value of the property.
Although it is not all doom and gloom, as a nation we are changing to one of renters not buyers so there is no shortage of quality tenants looking for a property to rent.