Electrical safety checks to become mandatory

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that mandatory five-year electrical installation checks (Electrical Installation Condition Report, EICR) on private rented housing in England will be introduced. The implementation date has not yet been clarified, but the MHCLG intends to introduce legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows. A transitional period will…

Housing Complaints Resolution Service announced

The government have announced plans to launch a complaints service for homeowners and tenants. The new Housing Complaints Resolution Service will provide a straight-forward way for buy to let tenants and homeowners to get help when faced with unresolved disputes about problems with their home, such as repairs and maintenance. Under the new scheme, private…

Rent a Room Scheme – Earn up to £7,500 pa tax free!

Resident landlords can also earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free under the Rent a Room Scheme (figures correct as of Jan ’19). If you rent part of a property which is your only or main home you are considered a resident landlord, and are eligible for Rent a Room relief. There are certain rules,…

Security deposit cap reduced to five weeks rent

Private renters are set to benefit from new measures reducing the amount tenants have to pay up front to secure a home from 6 weeks’ rent to 5 for annual rentals of under £50,000. The move, announced as part of the Tenant Fees Bill, is a further step by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP towards ending…

Health and Safety Rules for Rented Homes to be Tightened

Landlords in England face a stricter health and safety regime as the government announces an overhaul of out-of-date rules. The review will look at updating the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) rules for residential dwellings and tightening the law demanding landlords install carbon monoxide alarms in rented homes with gas appliances (not just with solid…

Tenant fees ban looks set to become law earlier than expected

A date for the final debate on the tenant fees ban has been announced by the government, suggesting that the legislation may become law earlier than expected. Next week on Tuesday, 20th November, peers will have a final opportunity to debate the bill at Committee stage following a first sitting earlier this month in the…

Rents set to rise over next five years according to Savills

According to a forecast by Savills, rents are predicted to grow 13.7 per cent in the next five years. Alongside a fairly bleak prediction for the sales market between 2019 and the end of 2023, Savills says the rental market will continue to see strong demand, not least because of ongoing difficulties for buyers to…

Landlord Insurance – A Guide

Landlord insurance is a crucial consideration for anyone renting out their property. Things can go wrong with even the most diligent tenants and can cost a significant sum to put right. ‘Landlord insurance’ is a broad term, and cover will vary from policy to policy. Key points:  Standard home insurance is NOT suitable for landlords…

New “Housing Court” proposed by ministers

Ministers have unveiled plans for a specialist “housing court”, with the aim of speeding up the settlement of property disputes between landlords and tenants. The designated court, according to the government, will be “particularly important” for families and vulnerable tenants “who live with the fear of suddenly being forced to move”. The communities secretary, James Brokenshire,…

Landlord’s to pay for EPC improvements, with the “no cost” exemption to be removed

Landlords will have to fund some of the changes needed to make their rental properties compliant with minimum energy efficiency requirements. The Government is to introduce the payment requirement, capped at £3,500. This replaces the current “no cost” exemption which allowed landlords to avoid implementing energy efficiency measures if there is no funding available to…