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Interesting details on the new white paper

The government has confirmed that the white paper regarding rental reform which has been long over due has now been delayed until next year. The main reason being that it gives time for ministers to decide on what else they can include.

There has been a lot of discussion over several new measures including the property redress scheme. There has been discussion that the government require every landlord to be part of a redress scheme but it has not been clarified as to whether they are excluded if they are with a letting agent. Which is probably more than likely. Obviously, it will be additional costs for landlords and they would have to adhere to any adjudication that was given to them.

There is also the new life time tenancy model which will allow tenants to transfer a deposit from one property to another. How this will work practically has been discussed on many occasions but the new law will outline it.

There are reforms also in the pipeline to drive improvements into standards including all tenants have a right to redress and a potential landlord register. A landlords register has been in the pipeline for some considerable time. It has been held by many people that it will be the only way to resolve issues where there are bad landlords. However, not everyone agrees.

The renters reform bill will therefore be delayed until next year. However, there are additional items contained within the reform bill already.

These are as follows;

  • Abolishing the section 21 notice. This includes the so called “no fault” eviction and improving security for tenants in the private rented sector. It also will include strengthening repossession grounds for landlords under section 8. Which relates to the arrears, when they have a valid cause.
  • It was going to ensure targeted and effective enforcement to drive out criminal landlords.
  • It was going to improve property conditions including a set of measures to hold bad landlords to account for delivering safe and decent housing to tenants without penalising good landlords.
  • Looking to explore, improve and possibility include efficiencies to the possession process in the courts, to make it quicker and easier for landlord and tenants to use.

 

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The government have not confirmed what date next year it will be but we would anticipate later in the year rather than earlier.

New capital gains tax rules have now come into place.

Anyone selling UK residential property the deadline to file a tax return has now been extended from 30 to 60 days and it has now come into effect. This allows people to do the return in relation to selling their property within this period. The government are very much moving to digital tax for everyone including capital gains tax.

What was in the budget?

The budget was quite underwhelming although landlords should look towards the bank of England monetary policy committee meeting on the 4th November. There is a high likelihood that interest rates will rise.

A 1.8 billion fund for delivering up to 160,000 new homes on Boundford sites and a 2 billion tax on the most property developers to assist the remediation of dangerous cladding was also announced. Otherwise there was very little else in the budget for the housing market.

Tenant demands still out dripping supplies.

It has been noted by many trade bodies and Rightmove that the average number of prospective tenants is more than what properties are available.

Rent prices are still on the increase and the suppliers stock is still extremely low. This is a combination of the pandemic together with people deciding not to currently move.

Government gives council 65 million of funding support for tenants in arrears.

The government has given the council access to 65 million of funding. However, it will be down to the council how to decide to spend the money. Payments are likely to be made directly through to an existing landlord or a new landlord if the money is being used to support families find a home. Renters in risk of eviction or homelessness during the winter months have been advised to contact the local council for support. It is not a fund to cover peoples arrears but to help people who are potentially becoming homeless.

Government trumps 450 million for 95 thousand heat pumps.

The government had announced 3.9 billion for decarbonising heat and buildings however only 450 million of this was allocated to replace old boilers. This will be a maximum up to £5,000. Unfortunately, heat pump costs are currently between £6,000-£18,000 so there would still be an additional cost to a landlord.

There is no detail as of yet on qualification criteria for these grants. Whether it will include landlords as well as home owners. It is hoped that the scheme will kick start economies or scout improvements for the industry. To start bringing down the cost of heat pumps.

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New eco clamp down on landlords emerge by government.

The government has announced that new cash injections council clamp down on landlords whose properties fail to meet the energy efficient standards. 59 local authorities are to get extra funding. One is using a drone to spite a rental property with thermal efficiency.

Since April of last year privately rented properties must meet a minimum energy performance rating on an EPC of E. Making it illegal to rent homes below that unless a landlord has a limited exception.

Landlords called failing to fulfil their obligations can be fined up to £5,000 per property per breach.

The 4.3 million of extra funding for the department for business, energy and industrial strategy to councils across the country. Designed to support them to make an extra 100,000 engagements with the most difficult to reach landlords. To include the worst performing properties.

This will include local radio ads, road shows and workshops with landlords to raise awareness of the rules. They can have free property surveys. Enhanced and targeted mail reminders and translation services to reach those currently not complying.

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