Weekly landlord news digest: Issue 31

Each week Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance collates the latest news in the private rented sector to help keep you up to date!

This week, with the Welsh tenant fee ban on the horizon we ask, are you prepared?

The government has made amendments to Form 6A after an incorrect version was published. It is extremely important that landlords use the most up to date document or they won’t be able to regain possession of their property.

In addition, extra costs are piling up for house movers and a recent survey conducted by the National Landlords Association finds that landlord confidence is at an all-time low.

 

Welsh tenant fee ban on the horizon – are you prepared for 1 September?

As a result of a new law passed by the Welsh Assembly earlier this year, landlords and agents in Wales will be banned from charging certain fees from September 2019. Wales is set to follow both Scotland and England who have already introduced a tenant fee ban, while fees are currently still permitted in Northern Ireland.

The ban means that from 1 September 2019, landlords and agents will be unable to charge tenants any fee that relates to the granting, continuation or renewal of a contract or addition of a fee provision into the contract, unless it is a ‘permitted’ fee.

The government is set to provide further information on the ban after 1 September, with the enforcement responsibility resting with local authorities and Rent Smart Wales. Importantly, landlords and agents should be aware that there are differences between the rules in place in England and those which will come into force in Wales.

Landlords are advised to keep up to date with the latest guidance in order to remain compliant.

Find out more about the Welsh tenant fee ban.

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Government amends Form 6A – are you serving the correct version?

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has corrected a recent error after an incorrect version of Form 6A was published.

On 8 and 12 August notes were left in relation to Form 6A issuing the following statements:

 

 

 

 

 

 

A previous version of the document has now been reinstated and is available on the government website.

The National Landlords Association (NLA), who notified the MHCLG of the error, advised landlords to ensure that they serve the correct, and up to date, documents when required to do so. Failing to serve the correct form could impact a landlord’s ability to regain possession of their property and so it is extremely important to get this right.

You can find out more information relating to Form 6A at GOV.UK.

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‘Extra’ costs add up for those moving house

According to recent research conducted by MoneySuperMarket, those moving house are on average spending £670 extra in additional costs when they move, excluding agency and legal fees and deposits.

Across the UK it is reported that before buying a home renters move approximately 5.1 times. Most often a move is as a result of needing more space (29 per cent), moving in with a partner (28 per cent) or rent being too high (nine per cent).

Services adding to the cost of moving house were varied, the most expensive extras including, buying utensils and bedding (50 per cent), postal redirection service costs (39 per cent), service provider changes (32 per cent) and the need to install new technology in their home, such as WIFI.

Despite making a significant investment in their new home a large number of renters admitted that they did not insure their contents, potentially risking a significant loss should their property be damaged.

Landlords’ confidence is low, says new survey

A recent survey completed by the NLA found that landlord confidence in their lettings business is at a record low with just 29 per cent of landlords suggesting their expectations for the next three months were good or very good. The NLA reports that this is the lowest confidence level recorded since 2006 when the survey began and attribute this change to recent announcements surrounding the proposal to abolish Section 21.

The NLA landlord panel survey, which had 738 respondents, also found that confidence was lowest in the North East of the country at 18 per cent, followed closely by Central London (19 per cent). In the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber confidence reached a peak of 34 per cent.

Read more about the survey.

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“With the amount of change that has occurred over the last four years and now the proposal to abolish no-fault evictions without any certainty that the courts will be able to cope with the increase in cases this will create, it’s no wonder that landlords are pessimistic about their future. Landlords need to be confident in their own businesses for the private rented sector to function properly. Given that it’s expected to compensate for the lack of social housing, it is vital that this confidence is restored.”

– The CEO of the NLA, Richard Lambert