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Legislation, Legislation, Legislation ….& tax too!

12 Feb Legislation, Legislation, Legislation ….& tax too!

Emma (our Property Manager) and I went along to the ARLA quarterly meeting earlier this week.  Now I don’t scare easily, as anyone who knows my pre-estate agency career will understand, but there is some pretty tricky laws to comply with in lettings land nowadays. This is just a snap shot of what we covered.

  • The Deregulation Act 2015, including:
    • Service of Prescribed Information
    • Section 21 Notice changes from 21(1)b or 21(4)a to new 6A
    • Requirements to provide Gas Safety Certificate, EPC, Smoke & CO2 Alarms
    • How to Rent Guide
    • If you don’t do the above you may find you cannot serve a ‘No Fault’ notice
  • Selective Licensing, thankfully not in our local area but Portsmouth & Southampton City Centres are affected.
  • Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, aim is to prevent tenants running a business from home having security of tenure so landlords more likely to allow them to run own business.
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015, including letting agent transparency. All agents must publish all of their fees (to Landlords & Tenants) on their website and in their offices.  £5,000 fine from Trading Standards for non-compliance.
  • Immigration Act 2014, including Right to Rent checks which must be done before granting a tenancy, how to request a right to rent check from the Home Office & avoid race discrimination when conducting checks.
  • Immigration Bill 2015 to make it a criminal offence to let to an illegal immigrant with up to 5yrs in prison & £20k fine
  • Housing & Planning Bill 2015 aiming to set up a database of rogue landlords & agents with banning and rent repayment orders.

More worrying are the tax changes which may seriously affect your profit margins, including changes to:

  • Mortgage Interest Relief – to be phased in from 2017
  • Wear & tear allowance – Withdrawn from April 2016 and
  • Stamp duty – An extra 3% payable on all Buy to Lets & second home purchases

The government has decided not to ‘regulate’ the private rented sector however with all these new laws adding to the burden of being a Landlord both financially and legally they are doing so, just by the back door.

If you are already landlord or looking to buy your first buy to let we can take care of all of this for you.  As ARLA licensed agents it’s our job to stay abreast of all this legislation and make sure that our landlords & their properties are compliant.

Don’t have sleepless nights, that’s our job!

If any of the above worries you, or you’d just like to check something feel free to give me a call on 07979 095626, or email me jane@robinsonreade.co.uk

Jane Earley MARLA MNAEA, Owner/Director Robinson Reade Ltd

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