2019's Ultimate Property Law Outlook for Landlords
Investing in property is a rewarding way of garnering profit but is not without its risks if you fail to do your due diligence. This year, there are a few changes in legislation that will affect the way you run your property portfolio. We’ve outlined some of the recent changes that came into place last year and a few to look out for in the upcoming months in 2019.
Changes to look out for in 2019
January 2019 - Redress Scheme
This year, it will become a legal requirement for all private landlords to become members of a redress scheme. This is important, failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £5,000. The government has announced plans for a new housing complaints service for the entire housing market ensuring both homeowners and tenants know where to go when things go wrong.
This is known as the Housing Complaints Resolution Service and offers support for unresolved disputes within a property, such as repairs and maintenance.
March 2019 - The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
The acts updates the fitness for human habitation legislation that’s one you may already be familiar with, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. From March onwards, your tenant can bring legal action against you for breach of contract if your rental property is not up to a good standard.Take time out to study the amendments as you could be hit with fines up to £30,000 or a banning order to stop you renting our homes. The new bill will protect tenants in private properties and social housing.
June 2019 - Tenant Fee Ban
Landlords and letting agents in the UK are facing a change in the way they charge private renters. The Tenant Fee Ban puts a stop to any charges relating to setting up, renewing or extending a tenancy.The final draft of this bill is yet to be finalised but landlords should start preparing themselves for for the legislation, set to be in passed on 1 June 2019.Having passed through the House of Lord, it will now come before MPs in the House of Commons before receiving Royal Assent.
The main measures in the bill include:
Landlords and letting agents only allowed to charge fees for replacing locks, tenancy changes requested by the renter and bills such as utilities and Council Tax
Holding deposits are capped at one week’s rent
Security deposits are limited to five week’s rent
While the new year is in full swing, it’s important to keep an eye out for the changes in the law that came in to place within recent months.
May 2018 - GDPR
This new legislation was passed in the middle of last year and shook up the way businesses around the UK handled their customer’s data. This also applies to landlords and means you have to be careful when passing on your tenants data and must remove it from your database if it is no longer needed.
October 2018 - HMO Licensing reforms
If you have five or more separate tenants that are not related abiding within one property, you legally must apply for a Houses of Multiple Occupation licence regardless of how many floors the house has. There are also addition requirements for the room sizes, communal area and number of washroom facilities.
November 2018 - Energy upgrades
New rules aimed at making rented homes warmer and cheaper to run for tenants are on the way for 200,000 buy to let landlords. Landlords must upgrade the energy efficiency of tens of thousands of homes in England and Wales if they want to continue to rent them out.
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