2018: What to expect? Changes for Landlords

Property Solicitors Update:

Helping you plan for the year ahead.

Are you a Landlord or Tenant? Perhaps you are considering purchasing a home in 2018? Sutton & Co. Solicitors are here to help you with your Landlord and Tenant issues.

 

 

Sutton & Co. Solicitors in Sutton Coldfield offer services in the following areas:

  • Landlord and Tenant
  • Residential Property
  • Commercial Property
  • Employment
  • Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney and Private Client
  • Commercial and Private Debt Recovery

Here are some of the things that you can expect and that we have predicted in the year ahead.

EPC Changes on 1 April 2018.

From 1 April 2018 all new tenancies need to meet the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES).

After this date, it will become illegal to let out a Property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating that is lower than an E.

All existing rental Properties will be covered by this rule from April 2020.

2018 is the year for you to focus on making sure that your buy-to-let properties are energy-efficient.

If your property currently has an EPC rating of F or G, or you need to commission an EPC, please contact us.

Extended Tenancies

If the Autumn Budget, it was announced that there would be a consultation on creating longer-term tenancies.

Some experts are now calling for landlords to get tax relief if their tenants have longer tenancy agreements. Combining a tax relief with a  new housing court to speed up the eviction process would help to encourage landlords to offer longer-term tenancies.

Over the year you can expect to hear more about how to encourage landlords to offer longer tenancy terms as the consultation progresses.

Rent-a-room changes

Evidence has also been requested by the Treasury to show how rent-a-room tax relief could be used to target long-term lettings.

Currently, you can earn up to £7,500 renting out a room in your home before you have to pay income tax on earnings.

This has been particularly popular with those who use short-term lets including Airbnb hosts. The relief has resulted in many homeowners looking to make money, however, this does not help the housing crisis, and longer-term accommodation is needed.

We expect that the Rent-a-room scheme will face an overhaul in 2018 to target long-term tenants.

Overhaul of Tenancy Fees

In November 2017 a Draft Bill was published requesting a ban on tenancy fees. This is due to be passed shortly, and when completed, many landlords may need to stop using letting agents who are likely to recoup their fees from the landlords directly.

Rogue Landlord Database

In April 2018 a database of so-called rogue landlords and letting agents is expected to go live. This was due to appear in October 2017 but has been delayed somewhat.

Currently, only Local and Central Government will have access to the database, and will include those with criminal convictions as well as any landlords or letting agents who have been issued with banning orders for a range of offences.

HMO Licences

Do you own a House in Multiple Occupation?

At present, all large HMOs need a license, however, this could be expanded if new rules are introduced to remove the three-storey minimum rule on what qualifies a HMO for the license requirement.

This could mean that HMOs of 5+ people will need a licence and the number of properties needing a licence will soar from 60,000 to 175,000.

Tax Relief

Finally,  tax relief on mortgage interest payments will continue to shrink. There is going to be a gradual tapering down of the tax relief that allows landlords to offset the cost of mortgage interest payments against their rental income (pre-tax).

In April this will fall to 50%, falling further to 25% in April 2019 and 0% in April 2020.

For more information on any of the above, to discuss how we can assist you with any Landlord and Tenant Disputes or to sell your Property, please call us on 0121 448 3107.

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