Keeping up to date with regulatory changes in the UK rental sector can be time-consuming for landlords, but it is vital to stay ahead of the curve.
From eviction rules to taxes, and from safety issues to pets, there’s a lot to learn about the private rented sector in the UK, and things are changing all the time. While some landlords pay a management company to take care of most things for them, it is still important to know what changes are taking place in the industry that could affect you.
This could be even more true for the thousands of overseas-based property investors in the UK housing market, who may not have as much knowledge of local rules and regulations.
There are a number of changes that have either taken place recently or are in the pipeline for the near future that could affect how people operate. But the good news is that there are lots of resources available, both free and at a cost, that you can use to keep up with the industry.
The right information for landlords
One Leeds-based lettings company, Sugarhouse Properties, is offering web events and seminars in a bid to get landlords up to speed. The webinars have a focus on Leeds landlords, but will also have general information that can be useful to a range of property investors.
Josh Mitchell, general manager of Sugarhouse Properties, says: “I have been working in the property rental market for over 10 years and so much of my time is spent dealing with the increasing amounts of regulations and continuous updates to ensure the properties we manage on behalf of our landlords are compliant.”
He adds that landlords have more to worry about than just potential penalties. Sometimes, breaching regulations can impact a landlord’s ability to rent out property in the future.
“Our aim for these sessions is to provide help and guidance to the student and young professional landlords of Leeds, to avoid the common pitfalls that we see far too often catching landlords out.”
The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) also works hard to offer as much information as possible to landlords operating in the rental market. It has a calendar of national webinars that cover a range of issues affecting landlords across the country. The calendar can be found here.
Some things you need to know for 2022
While most buy-to-let landlords strive to keep up to date with the latest rules, it’s easy for some to slip through the net. Below are some of the key things to be aware of for the year ahead.
- One safety-related change that all rental property owners need to be aware of is the new carbon monoxide detector rules. Since November 2021, alarms need to be fitted in all homes with gas boilers and fires, when new appliances are installed.
- Do you allow pets in your rental property? As of January, a new model tenancy agreement means landlords can’t issue a blanket ban on pets, but must be able to give a good reason for refusal.
- Eviction can be a difficult topic for landlords, and there’s been rumours of change going on for a while now. It seems 2022 could be the year the government finally announces how it will abolish section 21 eviction notices.
- Landlords and property investors who are filing their tax returns today (31 January) will probably already know that it marks the first return on which the new mortgage interest tax relief credit applies.
- Energy efficiency: while there are no official announcements penned for this year regarding changes to the rules surrounding energy efficiency, it is a big topic to be aware of in the private rented sector. Rental homes must achieve a minimum EPC rating of E at present, but this will be increased in the coming years.
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