Landlords must comply with latest energy standards

Landlords of residential property could face high fines if they do not meet the latest energy efficiency standards.  On 1st April 2020, the latest stage of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards was implemented, making it unlawful for landlords to continue domestic residential tenancies where the property has a rating of F or G on its Energy Performance Certificate – commonly known as an EPC. Two years ago, the first stage of implementation introduced the requirement for an E rating or above for all new tenancies granted. Now, that is extended…

Landlord and Tenant – The new Tenant Fees Act

A new act came into force recently that has a profound effect on the rental market. It’s relevant not just for landlords and tenants, but for agencies that, to date, have made a very nice little living out of charging tenancy fees and administration costs for rentals. These fees have affected both tenants and landlords, who have had to fork out hundreds if not thousands of pounds in fees and agency costs. Now, under the Tenant Fees Act 2019, all tenant payments are banned by default unless the Act specifically makes allowances…

Landlord & Tenant: A mouldy problem – who is responsible for getting rid of mould in rented accommodation?

By the end of 2021, a quarter of UK households will rent privately. That’s approximately 5.8 million households renting, due to the combination of soaring house prices and salaries remaining relatively static.  Anyone who has been a serial renter will know that the state of privately rented housing can vary hugely.  Some landlords take pride in their work, furnishing and finishing their properties to a high standard; whereas others complete the job as quickly and cheaply as possible.  For the latter category, neglecting standards can cause all sorts of issues…

Landowner carries the can on illegal waste

An illegal waste wood stockpile on land in Devon has seen the landowner prosecuted and left with the clean-up bill after being held responsible for knowingly permitting the tenants' activities. The tenants had leased the land for a wood recycling business, but none of the material that arrived on the site ever left, creating a 10,000-tonne stockpile covering the area of a football pitch. When the stockpile was destroyed in a massive fire which burned for five days, the Environment Agency prosecuted not just the tenants, but the landlord as…

Bump in the night for Airbnb landlords

Rule changes on short term lets could see part-time landlords hit by a new tax bill from next year if they let out their whole property. Homeowners can earn up to £7,500 per year tax free by renting a room to a lodger, but the rise of the sharing economy and sites like Airbnb has seen many hobby landlords come into the market and use the tax break to offset income when they let the whole of their home out for short stays. Whether it’s property owners in SW London…

Landlords must check they hit the spot with deposits

Claims for incorrectly handled property rental deposits are soaring and landlords should be alert to the danger and ensure they or their agents are complying with the legal requirements, if they want to avoid high penalties. According to figures from insurers, the number of claims relating to deposits peaked at 25% of all professional indemnity claims made by estate and letting agents in the first quarter of this year, up from just 3% last year 1.  The claims most often relate to a landlord lodging a deposit late or failing…

What can you do if your tenant is subletting?

A quick guide to the legalities If a landlord rents a property directly to a tenant and they decide they wish to let out part or all of the property to another tenant, it’s called subletting. This isn’t always a problem, if the tenant in question has the landlord’s permission to do so. Problems arise, however, when tenants sublet all or part of the rental property without the permission of their landlord. How do landlords know if a tenant is in breach of their rental agreement, and what can landlords…

Beware Side Letter

Although the case of Vivienne Westwood Limited v Conduit Street Development Limited is fact specific it is a crucial reminder of the care that must be taken when setting out concessionary terms in side letters between landlords and tenants. In 2009 Vivienne Westwood Limited entered into a 15 year lease of retail premises, however at the same time the parties entered into a side letter providing rent concessions. The lease provided that the annual rent payable was £110,000 with upwards only rent reviews in 2014 and 2019. Under the side…

Stamp duty change results in buy-to-let slump

Following the introduction of a stamp duty surcharge in April 2016 mortgage activity in the UK buy-to-let sector has plummeted. Changes implemented in April 2016 resulted in a 3% stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let and second home purchases. This impelled a sudden surge in lending in February and March 2016 as landlords rushed through purchases to avoid the impending 3% increase in stamp duty tax. However, the spike in mortgage lending was short lived as a sudden and significant drop followed. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) figures show that…

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