Do you follow every twist and turn of government policy on the buy to let business you are running? Do you appreciate the impact on your role as a landlord of the many new laws, rules and regulations relating to let property? Are you aware of your specific obligations and responsibilities if you let a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
The impact of all these things may leave a significant impression on your business. Falling foul of the latest regulations might mean you have to pay crippling financial penalties.
It may come as a surprise, therefore, to discover just how many landlords to be unaware or uncertain of the implications. In recent research – published in the Mortgage Finance Gazette on the 1st of October 2019, it was revealed that:
- 27% of landlords are uncertain about the impact on their business of the ban on tenants’ fees – which came into force on the 1st of June 2019;
- 28% are unaware of recent changes to Inheritance Tax liabilities if a let property is left to them in someone’s will – discussed in a story in the Financial Times on the 11th of July 2019;
- 30% of landlords remain uncertain about the current use of Section 21 – so-called “no-fault” – eviction notices and the likely consequences of the proposed repeal of that section of the housing law, which is discussed in some detail by the National Landlords’ Association (NLA);
- a similar percentage of landlords also remain unaware of the recent changes to the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) – the impact of which is explained in a posting by the Landlords’ Guild on the 27th of September 2019;
- most surprising of all, perhaps, given how long ago the changes were first announced, a quarter of landlords seem to be uncertain about their income tax liabilities following the abolition of tax relief on buy to let mortgage repayments – a detailed account of the changes, which began in April 2017, is given in the September 2019 edition of the Consumers’ Association’s Which? magazine.
The continued uncertainties on the part of landlords, therefore, are not for any lack of news or information on changes which may fundamentally affect their business. Landlords are busy people, and it is not easy running a buy to let business in today’s economic climate.
But this is not an excuse for failing to keep yourself fully conversant with the latest legislation. Much of that legislation has been introduced in an attempt to safeguard or bolster your tenants' rights. If you fail to comply with the legislation and in any way impede the rights granted to tenants, you stand to face stiff financial penalties imposed by the courts.
If you are unsure as to the latest legislation, why not browse through our searchable Knowledge Base here at UKinsuranceNET? It’s full of interesting blog articles, guides and checklists to help you become a well-informed and fully up to date landlord. You can also visit reputable landlord sites such as the RLA and, of course, the Government website.