A new year will almost certainly bring new changes to the landscape of being a UK Landlord, after changes to taxation rules and energy performances…as a Landlord you should be ready to adapt again.
So below is a few things we think that you should know for the next 12 months.
Leasehold property changes
Most Landlords that we speak with want to expand their portfolio, if that’s also you then read on…
The government has been pledging to clamp down on poor leasehold practices now for some time and this year looks likely these claims may bear fruit.
Much of the Downing Street’s anger on this issue has centred around new-build houses being sold as leasehold properties – in turn seeing homeowners paying out huge amounts in ground rent and being unable to make changes to properties without additional costs.
That means a ban on new houses being sold as leasehold now looks extremely likely.
But with uncertainty surrounding existing leaseholds properties, landlords should be mindful before committing to portfolio additions.
The database you shouldn’t be on
It’s true that the ‘Rogue Landlord Database’ hasn’t quite been the success that the government had hoped for and not enough focus has been placed on it, they have been rather busy with other important and pressing matters though.
That said…we can expect that in 2019 a greater emphasis will be placed here, current rules mean that only government officials can access the database but it was confirmed in October 2018 that information on rogue landlords would be made available to tenants this year (2019).
As a landlord you should always stay within the rules and avoid the database.
Letting fees ban
A long time coming but it sure looks like this is coming into force this year. As well as tenants deposits being capped at no more than six weeks rent, lettings agents and self-managing landlords in England will be barred from charging fees.
Predominantly, the fees ban is targeted towards agents. But even if you don’t self-manage as a landlord, you should be aware that costs for tenant referencing and inventories will almost certainly fall on your shoulders.
Mortgage interest tax relief
Although landlords have been adapting to this huge change now for more than a year, the changes to the amount of mortgage interest deductible from a landlord’s income are being phased in.
That means from the new tax year (2019/20) in April, the 50% of interest landlords can currently claim will drop to 25%.
From April 2020, all mortgage interest will be subjected to a 20% tax relief.
Protection for clients money CMP
This scheme, CMP for short, comes into force in April. On the face of it, it seems like a rare piece of good news for landlords.
Essentially, it means lettings agents must register for the scheme in order to protect rent collected on behalf of landlords.
So, if the agent goes bust, the landlord’s rent money is protected.
However, the Residential Landlords Association claims the amount of money paid out in such an event can be capped. We wait and see…
As always if you have any questions about letting out a property please feel free to get in touch with a member of our team.Photo credit: Images_of_Money on Visual Hunt / CC BY