If you’ve been following my blogs for a while you’ll know there have been lots of new developments for landlords recently and next year is set to be no exception. One of the big changes is the introduction of the Housing and Planning Act which was passed on 12 May 2016. It doesn’t come in to force until next year but it contains lots of regulations that could affect you.
Be a rogue landlord at your own peril
I’ve touched on rogue landlords already this year and the Act gives local authorities the power to ban ‘rogue’ landlords from letting housing in England and also provides for the setting up of a database of rogue landlords. It’s not yet clear what exactly constitutes a rogue landlord or what could lead to a ban but watch this space and I’ll let you know as soon as there’s news. One thing is clear however: if as a landlord you knowingly rent out unsafe and substandard accommodation to tenants, you will be at risk.
Check your property and services
So if nothing else, this autumn if you haven’t done so recently, it’s worth checking over your property, your services and all your paperwork. Under the new Act landlords are likely to be required to ensure properties meet a certain electrical safety standard. Again full details aren’t yet known but may include PAT testing and wiring certificates so it’s worth making the necessary checks now so that you know what may need to be done in your property in good time.
And beware of cheap properties that could cost you dear
A recent report by Property Reporter based on research by Towergate (specialist insurance brokers), found “a fifth of first time buyers … are turning to lower priced properties that need ‘doing up’ and cutting costs by carrying out the work themselves, spending £4,600 in the process. However … more than a quarter (27%) of new homeowners have had to fork out extra cash for a professional contractor to fix their mistakes – costing an average £2,358”.
So whilst it might be tempting to start your buy to let career by buying cheap, make sure you either have the funds or the skills to do any work needed to a professional and decent standard.
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