New regulations affecting landlords come into force
Several new regulations affecting landlords have now come into force. These are some of the most significant:
Tenant right to request energy efficiency improvements
Tenants can now request consent from their landlord to install energy efficiency improvements in the property they rent. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse consent, as long as the requested improvement is one of the energy efficiency measures contained in the Schedule to the Green Deal (Qualifying Energy Improvements) Order 2012, or alternatively if it is a measure required to connect to the gas network.
The tenant must also be able to secure funding at no cost to the landlord. This could be from a government or local authority grant, or from the tenant involved.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
The most costly change for landlords hoping to increase their portfolio is the rise in Stamp Duty Land Tax. A surcharge of 3% now applies for buy to let properties and second homes. The Association of Residential Letting Agents believes this could result in an increase in rents and less money being spent on property maintenance.
Wear and Tear Allowance
Under the previous arrangement, landlords were able to reduce their tax liability by claiming a 10% Wear and Tear Allowance even if they didn’t replace any furnishings in their properties. Now they can only claim the allowance when replacements are made and costs are incurred.
All the changes came into effect on 1 April.
Please contact Janice Young if you would like advice about commercial property law or landlord and tenant issues.