15 key dates for landlords in 2020

Every year brings additional changes to legislation, taxation and the wider property market that landlords must stay on top of, and 2020 is no exception. Increased regulation, changes in buy to let tax relief and an unsettled market combine to make being a landlord more challenging than it can sometimes look from the outside.

The Government has announced its intention to introduce a Renters’ Reform Bill, which it says will abolish the use of ‘no fault’ evictions, improve the possession process for landlords, and introduce a lifetime deposit, along with measures to expand the database of rogue landlords and letting agents. Exact timings for these changes are not yet clear.

But there are a number of legal changes that will take effect in 2020, as well as some ‘must attend’ events. From the imminent introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) to changes to tax relief, here are 15 key dates for the 2020 calendar that every landlord should be aware of.

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1. (TBC) Pet friendly tenancies

The Secretary of State announced a revision of the Model Tenancy Agreement for assured shorthold tenancies in the private rented sector on 4 January. The revision is intended to make it easier for tenants with pets to find landlords who will accept them.

It removes restrictions on responsible tenants with pets and encourages landlords who use the Model Tenancy Agreement to offer greater flexibility in their approach to pet ownership. We should get a Trading Standards announcement on pet rents shortly and a revised Model Tenancy Agreement will be published on Gov.uk.

 

 2. 19 March 2020: National Landlord Investment Show at London Olympia

The London Olympia show is one of several dates for this leading landlord and property investment exhibition, which will also be taking place at venues in Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff (find the full tour route online). The National Landlord Investment Show offers the chance to meet top suppliers, get expert advice, network, and stay up-to-date with industry developments.

This year, Hamilton Fraser Brand Ambassador and Founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, will be chairing the panel debate, Proptech: How does it affect the buy-to-let market? Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance will also be attending.

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3. From 20 March 2020 the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 will come into force for periodic tenancies in England

When it was implemented on 20 March last year, the Act applied only to new tenancies, including renewals. From 20 March 2020, it will apply to all private and social periodic tenancies that existed before 20 March 2019.

The only exception to this are tenancies that are on a fixed term that began before 20 March 2019 – the Act won’t apply in these few cases until the end of that fixed term.

Replacing the existing fitness for human habitation clauses in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, this legislation applies to all human habitation tenancies lasting up to seven years.

Essentially, it exists to protect tenants and ensure their property is fit for purpose – and allows them to take legal action should this not be the case. Find out whether you are compliant.

4. 24 March 2020: ARLA Propertymark at ExCel London

In its 25th year, the ARLA Propertymark Conference and Exhibition offers an opportunity to get up to date with important industry issues and changing legislation.

Delegates come predominantly from residential letting agencies but everyone is welcome to attend, including property consultants and all others associated with the property industry.

15 key dates for landlords in 2020