Below are the main laws that came into force this year and what we can expect in 2016. If we manage your properties on your behalf, we will have handled your obligations to ensure they are legally let, but if you have any queries about the legislative changes, please come and speak to us.
From 1st October:
- Smoke alarms must be installed and tested in every tenanted property and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with solid fuel burning appliance.
- For new and renewed tenancies, the tenant must be issued with a copy of the DCLG ‘How to Rent’ Guide; an Energy Performance Certificate; Gas Safety Certificate and confirmation the paid deposit has been protected.
- As part of the Deregulation Bill, retaliatory evictions are legislated against and landlords are obliged to respond to complaints about a property’s condition and make repairs, within specific time frames or face the possibility of a subsequent eviction being ruled unlawful.
- In addition, some councils such as Liverpool Council required landlords to apply for a five-year licence for each of their rented properties.
From 1st February:
- Right to Rent checks must be made on all new tenants, to check they have the legal right to be in the England.
- An additional 3% stamp duty is payable on all second homes purchased for above £40,000.
- For those earning income from renting rooms in their house, the tax threshold is rising, from £4,250 a year to £7,500.
- Under The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales)
- Regulations 2015, a tenant will be able to reasonably ask for a relevant energy efficiency improvement to the property (see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/962/part/2/chapter/2/made for details).
From 21st January:
- For all existing tenancies, you must provide Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water with your tenants’ details to help them chase up any water bill arrears.
From 23rd November:
- Mandatory registration for all landlords & licensing for all property mangers began via Rent Smart Wales (https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/ ) – with one year to comply.
By 23rd November:
- All landlords must be registered and all property managers licensed, or face fines.
By 25th February:
- All private landlords must be registered with The Landlord Registration Scheme
From 21st March 2016:
- New Buy to Let borrowing restrictions are to be imposed on consumer landlords, as part of the European Mortgage Credit Directive. It is likely that a higher ‘rental income to mortgage repayment’ ratio will be introduced – possibly 135% or higher - and landlords will require a larger deposit.