2018 looks set to be a bumper year for changes to the business of private property rental and being a landlord. We thought we’d highlight some of the changes that affect landlords today and one that looks likely to be law from next year.
Minimum energy efficiency standards
From April 1st, 2018 all landlords are required to have a minimum energy efficiency rating of E on the EPC certificate. It will be unlawful to rent a property that does not meet this minimum requirement.
The penalties for non-compliance are steep with 10% of the rateable value for the first three months rising to 20% if the property has been leased for over three months.
You can find out more about the minimum energy efficiency changes here.
Cut in mortgage rate relief
From April this year landlords have had the amount they can deduct from their tax bill reduced, landlords can now only offset 50% of their mortgage interest. This is just the start; the intention is to have this gradually reduced to zero. You can read more about these reforms here.
Rogue landlord database
The government has launched a database of rogue landlords and property agents. The rouge landlords and property agents are those which have been given a banning order by the local housing authority. The database will include those who have certain criminal convictions such as harassment, blackmail, stalking, theft and handling stolen goods.
You can read more about banning orders here.
The database does not appear to have been made public yet.
Tenant Fees Bill
Although this isn’t currently law, it is currently being passed through parliament and it is likely to become law next year. The bill proposes that the following will be introduced:
- A holding fee cap of no more than a week’s rent
- A deposit cap of no more than six week’s rent
- A cap on charges for changes to tenancy agreements of £50
The only additional charges that fall outside of the ban are:
- Those for Council Tax or utilities
- Payments arising from lost keys
- Tenant seeking early lease termination
The fines for breaching this law looks to be severe with fines ranging from £5,000 to £30,000 for repeat offenders.
David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance