Being a Landlord in 2019 / 2020 Part 1
Being a landlord can often feel confusing. Over the last 12 months, there have been many new regulations and programmes – from the tenant fees ban, to the client money protection scheme, to new standards on space and electricity.
All these changes have brought about a substantial impact on the way agents and landlords act and if you are not being fully informed as to what is going on, you’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by it all.
So, what are the key rules and regulation changes, and, what’s in store for 2020?
1. Tenant Fee Ban Act 2019:
Coming into force from 1 June 2019, the Tenant Fees Act aims to ensure that tenants will be able to see at a glance what a given property will cost them in the advertised rent with no hidden costs.
The new rules also mean that deposits will be capped at five weeks’ rent (or six for tenancies that cost more than £50,000 a year), and agents and landlords will be banned from charging fees for anything other than contract changes, council and utilities tax, changes to the tenancy, and issues for which the tenant is at fault.
2. Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act
Having come into force on 20 March, this requires that landlords ensure their property is free of any hazards and fit for human habitation, and properties breaching the updated legislation will be liable for court action from tenants. The Act amends the existing Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 by extending the obligations in that legislation.
The law is designed to empower tenants to take legal action if their property is found to breach the guidelines, and to improve property conditions within both the private and social sectors.
3. Client Money Protection Scheme
Under a new law taking effect from 1 April 2019, private-sector agents will be required to join a government-approved Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme or face up to a £30,000 fine.
The new law will ensure that the client funds, including landlords’ rental payments and tenants’ deposits, will be protected. This should bring reassurance to people across the industry that their money is safe while with their agent.
Agents will need to meet a number of standards to join a CMP, such as having a separate client bank account and having professional indemnity insurance. However, most agents should already have access to a CMP scheme through their membership of agency bodies such as ARLA, RICS, NALS, or UKALA. Stones Residential are members of ARLA
4. Minimum Space Standards
Since October of last year, there are new requirements for the minimum size of bedrooms. The regulations depend on how many people occupy the bedroom.
Breaking those rules puts landlords on a timer of up to 18 months to rectify the problem, with those who fail to rectify the problem liable to be fined up to £30,000.
At Stones Residential we keep the team educated with all legislation being introduced by the government. Our current landlords are all kept up to date with newsletters and send outs, all with relevant content.
To find out how our unique marketing and services ensure the great tenants for the best rents, please contact our Director of Lettings Neil Lux on 020 8954 0045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org