As I am sure you are aware Landlords seem to be be in the governments target recently with a number of forthcoming measures which might affect you.
Energy Efficiency Ratings
From April the government have confirmed properties below and E rating on their EPC will not be allowed to be rented until they are improved to an E or above.
This will only apply to new tenancies after this date but by 2020 it is intended to apply it to all tenancies. The maximum fine is £4,000
Listed buildings are exempt from EPCs should be improved where they can but I have no idea how this could be monitored.
ACTION: Check you EPC rating now.
Changes to Tax Relief for Residential Landlords
The tax relief that landlords of residential properties get for finance costs will be restricted to the basic rate of Income Tax, this will be phased in from April 2017.
Ban on Tenant Fees
The government have confirmed they will pass a Law banning Landlords or Agents charging tenants any fees. Whilst we await confirmation of the exact terms it appears certain that no one will be able to charge tenants fees for referencing, administration or inventories. In addition it is likely that we will only be able to charge one months rent as a deposit. We have no idea if we will be able to charge guarantors but this also seems likely. What is sure is its coming and likely to be sooner rather than later.
ACTION: Tenants with pets are usually charged a bigger deposit. This wont be possible, Will you still want to take pets? Tenants on housing benefits may find less landlords will accept them. Who will pay for guarantor references? Make sure your agreements require tenants to professionally clean carpets and fumigated if they have pets.
Steve is a Director at Hennings Moir Letting Agents in Saltash Cornwall 01752 850440