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Looking ahead for Landlords in 2020

Updated: May 13, 2020

We wish all our customers a happy and prosperous 2020.

A range of new lettings regulations will be seen throughout the new year.

Here are some of the key changes coming up:

Extension of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act - March

Landlords or agents acting on their behalf can be forced to carry out improvement works to properties or risk being sued - is being extended from March 20 this year to include existing statutory periodic tenancies. Until that date it applies only to tenants who signed contracts on or after 20 March 2019. This legislation applies in England only - with responsibility for these standards in Wales falling under the scope of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards - April

From 1st April, ALL existing tenancies will fall in line with the existing law introduced in 2018, whereby landlords or their agents cannot let to new tenants unless it has an EPC rating of E or above. This means that anyone whose rentals have F or G ratings will no longer be able to legally let them out. If the property falls below the required rating, Landlords will be expected to pay up to £3,500 towards energy efficiency improvement works. However, if work will cost more than that landlords can apply for an exemption. If you think this may apply to you and are concerned, please contact us to discuss.

Capital Gains Tax changes - April

Until now, CGT has been paid on profits made through the sale of any property that isn't the owner's principal home; owners can also seek lettings relief (a tax break) if they once lived in the non-principal home themselves. From April this is scrapped and landlords will only be able to claim lettings relief if they share the property with their tenant.

Extension of the Tenant Fees Act - June

Letting agents have, since last June, been banned from charging fees other than rents, deposits, holding deposits and charges for defaulting on contracts - but this has, until now, applied only for new tenants. From June this year it applies to all existing tenancies. This is particularly important with regards to deposits which are now capped at 5 weeks.

We will of course be here to guide you all the way through a busy legislative time.

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