Forewarned Is Forearmed: Five Key Changes 2019 Landlords Should Be Aware Of
Landlords have experienced a lot of upheavals in the last period of time, but the year 2019 has become particularly rich in life-changing innovations. We would like to tell about these changes in more detail. It's worth staying informed. Forewarned is forearmed.
1. Compulsory Client Money Protection
Let's start with the good news, with what has already happened. As of April 2019, all real estate agents will need to have the CMP (Client Money Protection) form of insurance. Landlords should be pleased with this news, because now there is more confidence that your rental income will be protected. Before that, unfortunately, many real estate agents have tried to hide the need for such protection.
2. Mortgage interest tax relief
Like the CMP above, the next phase of the withdrawal of mortgage interest as an allowable expense will occur in April - on the 6th to be precise, the start of the new tax year. As this year sees the third stage of the withdrawal, landlords will only be able to claim 25% of finance costs, with the remaining 75% restricted to the basic rate of taxation.
3. Tenants’ fees
The ban on tenants’ fee comes into force on June 1, 2019. The new legislation envisages that landlords, as well as agents representing their interests, will no longer be able to charge for anything other than:
- Deposits (including holding deposits)
- Changes to the existing contract, or the termination of it, that have been requested by the tenant
- Council tax, utilities, and communications services
- Key replacement costs (charge for new keys and petrol, but not time lost)
- Any other default of contract.
4. The tightening of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
MEES for new lets and tenancy renewals were introduced last year, but April next year (2020) sees the regulation extended to existing tenancies, too. This means that if your property is currently rated at ‘F’ or ‘G’, it will no longer be rentable from 1 April, 2020. Therefore, landlords should act now to ensure their properties are compliant for 2020.
5. Rogue landlord database open to the UK public
London tenants have been able to access the capital’s Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker since December 2017. However, the rest of the UK has been stuck with the situation when the public were unable to access it. This looks set to change at some point this year, with public access soon to become available for all.