What Landlords Should Know for 2021
Landlords have seen a number of changes in recent years and 2021 is to be no exception.
Many of these changes we are about to refer to would have been debated or occurred in 2020 but the global pandemic has, of course, meant postponing many important decisions.
With the promise of a vaccine though it looks like 2021 may be the year the world recovers and proposed amendments are finally given an airing. Here are some of the major issues for residential property landlords:
No More Section 21 Evictions
The consultation for this move, which comes under the Renters’ Reform Bill closed in October last year. If passed, it would mean that landlords in England and Wales will no longer be able to evict tenants without a legitimate reason to do so.
The Conservative government has insisted it will go through with the Bill passing process “due course, once the urgencies of responding to the pandemic have passed.” However, it could take years for the Bill to become an Act of Parliament and therefore law.
One law which did go through this year is that from April, landlords in England and Wales face fines of up to £5,000 for renting out a property with an energy efficiency rating of F or lower. The standard is E and which landlords in Scotland have already been adhering to for some time now.
Right to Rent checks
Landlords having to check whether or not an immigrant wishing to rent their property has the right papers to stay in the UK has been a contentious issue ever since it was introduced. That’s because (a) many landlords felt it was the responsibility of the Home Office not landlords and (b) landlords giving housing to an illegal immigrant could be fined.
It was hoped this would be abolished in 2020 after it was deemed a breach of human rights in the High Court in 2019 and the government agreed to evaluate the scheme. Current PM Boris Johnson himself is known to be an opponent of the Right to Rent scheme (and which was introduced during his predecessor Teresa May’s government).
No more Mortgage Interest Tax Relief
It was in 2020 that the Mortgage Interest Tax Relief benefits scheme finally drew to a close. The amount landlords could claim had been decreasing annually over the past four years and now landlords will receive a 20 per cent tax reduction as standard.
End of High Street letting agents
Well, there are still some high street letting agents around – but not as many as there were before. And one of the main reasons for that is the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act in 2019. This makes it impossible for many agents to charge what the government referred to as ‘tip off fees,’ such as charging tenants to renew a lease.
There is also, of course, the growth of online letting agents, and who can afford to charge much smaller fees because of their lack of physical overheads.
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