A review of 2018 and preview of 2019 for landlords

As we come to the end of what has undoubtedly been another tough year for landlords, it’s important to review the changes that have taken place and look ahead to what lies in store for the private rental sector. Whilst it may sometimes seem to be nothing but doom and gloom, we know that those landlords who take the time to educate themselves on changes in the sector can succeed. Those are the landlords that will most likely find ways to adapt and continue to make their investments work. We thought we would give you a helping hand by taking a look at what happened in 2018 and offering a little preview of what we can look forward to in 2019.

 

Firstly, let’s review 2018…

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Homeless Reduction Act 2017

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 came into force on 3 April 2018. Previously councils waited until tenants were served a Section 21 and were then forcibly made homeless by eviction before assisting with rehousing. Under the new Act, councils now have to help people at risk of losing suitable accommodation as soon as they are threatened with homelessness.

This means tenants should get help upon receiving a notice from their landlord if they are struggling to find a new property, rather than being told to come back once they are evicted.

Founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina comments “This act was well intended, but the reality is the councils do not have enough housing stock, so the problem is still being pushed back to the landlords, so that it gives the council extra time to try and rehouse. There still needs to be better work in Homeless prevention, but the Universal Credit has just added fuel to the fire.  Councils are in crisis as to rehousing evicted tenants.”

“This is simply not working, we hear on a daily basis from Landlords that have instructed Landlord Action, that the local council is still telling their tenants to stay put in the property until eviction date, forcing landlords to issue proceedings and apply for eviction dates. This causes more distress for tenants.”

– Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action

Gas safety

The 6 April 2018 saw the implementation of the Gas Safety Regulations, providing landlords in England and Wales with greater flexibility around the renewal of gas safety records.

Many landlords were beginning this process early in order to avoid issues gaining access to properties, meaning they were often paying for the check more frequently than necessary.

Similar to the rules surrounding car MOTs, landlords are now able to carry out compulsory checks at any time in the two months leading up to the renewal date, without it impacting the existing date set for the following year. For example, if your gas safety check is due on 30 November, you can carry out the check at any time that’s convenient to you during October and November, and you’ll still have 12 months from 30 November until the next one is due.