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Landlords are you up-to-date with recent changes to the law?

June 2nd 2016
By: Melanie Hollidge
Landlords are you up-to-date with recent changes to the law?

Over the past year there have been so many changes to the private rental industry that we thought it would be a good idea to summarise some of the main changes that have come into effect:
 
Tax implications:
 
Since 1st April 2016 the Government has introduced a levy of 3% when buying a property as an investment, this isn’t just for landlords but for people purchasing a second home. Changes have also been made to the wear and tear allowance, in the past landlords have been able to claim up to 10% per year but now they claim against actual repair and costs to a property. Tax relief on mortgage interest will be capped at 20%, a process which will be gradually introduced until 2020.
 
Fire and Carbon Monoxide detectors:
 
As from October 2015 all rental properties must have a working fire and carbon monoxide detector at the beginning of a new tenancy. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £5,000. Landlords will need to ensure the following
1. A smoke alarm must be fitted to each storey of a property.
2. Carbon Monoxide detectors must be installed in any area with solid fuel burning combustion appliance – such as a gas boiler.
 
Right to Rent:
 
As from the 1st February 2016 all private landlords will have to make sure that their tenants have the ‘Right to Rent.’ Follow this link for more information https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents
 
Eviction Notice:
 
Section 21 – this is when an official eviction notice is served to a tenant where the property is let under a shorthold tenancy or AST. As from the 1st October 2015 changes have comes into place to stop revenge evictions; for example if a tenant complains about the condition of their rental property they know the landlord will not be able to evict them. Also Section 21 will no longer be able to be served in the first four months of tenancy - during this time tenants will be able to file a complaint to the landlord regarding any issues of disrepair. Landlords will be able to appeal against these complaints if –
1. The tenant fails to use the property in a tenant like manner.
2. Disrepair due to neglect or breach of the tenant’s obligations.
3. If a mortgage company seeks possession of the property, as long as the mortgage was in place at the beginning of the tenancy.
4.When a section 21 notice is served, the property is genuinely on the market for sale.
 
If you would like to find out more information about any of these changes or discuss your buy-to-let portfolio then please pop into your local branch of Goodfellows or give our team a call on: 0845 3727070.