What Landlords Need To Know For 2018
The last few years have seen huge changes for the lettings industry and Landlords in particular and 2018 will be no different. We have set out below 3 of the main regulatory changes that will impact on Landlords during 2018.
As of the 1st April 2018 properties will need to have an EPC rating of at least E or better in order to be rented out or have a tenancy renewed. For most Landlord’s the EPC is probably something you initially arranged when you first started renting the property and not given much thought to it since! Now is a good time to check what rating you have though as it is likely that as April approaches energy assessors will be pretty busy making it difficult to arrange anything at short notice.
Whilst checking your EPC remember they are only valid for 10 years and as they became law in 2007 many of them will have reached the point of having to be renewed. As Gas Certificates need to be renewed every year they are easier to remember whereas for many with EPC’s it could be a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind!’ If your property is currently rated as an ‘F’ or a ‘G’ then loft insulation and low energy lighting are two of the more cost-effective ways to improve it’s energy efficiency and make sure you are compliant.
The government have announced that it is going to be compulsory for all Landlords to sign up with a redress scheme to offer additional protection to tenants and improve standards. The exact details have not been announced so it isn’t yet clear whether this will apply to all Landlord’s or only to those who manage their property themselves. It is probably more likely to be introduced late in 2018 so in the meantime is something to keep an eye on as this will involve some level of cost and paperwork.
The Tenant Fee Ban
There hasn’t been a date announced yet as the legislation is still going through but it seems almost certain that all fees to tenants will be banned at some point in 2018. This will impact most Landlords whether they let their properties themselves and charge tenants an admin fee or use a letting agent. Tenants will only be expected to pay their rent and a deposit and all other charges including things like Inventories that are traditionally split 50/50 with the Landlord will be banned. This is going to mean increased costs for Landlords although at the same time there will be a lot of upward pressure on rents too which should help to mitigate this. Another consequence could be shorter average tenancies with the cost of moving for tenants having been reduced. I have written about the impact of the fee ban in more detail here.
All in all we are looking at another year of change in front of us which is something that Landlords are getting used to by now. For more information or a chat about how this will impact you then please just give us a call on 01332 30 30 30.