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05 December 2016
2016 - ‘Annus Horribilis’ for Landlords

2016 - ‘Annus Horribilis’ for Landlords

January

  • The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has accused the Government of 'effectively declaring war on individual landlords' and described 2015 as an “annus horribilis” for the residential landlord.
  • Bank of England governor Mark Carney has once again expressed concern at the rapid boom in the buy-to-let market.
  • Campaign group Generation Rent is calling for tenants who are served notice to leave a property to be compensated by landlords. 

February

  • Right to Rent checks Mandatory for all adult occupiers with new tenancies. Landlords are required to check a tenant’s immigration status before granting a tenancy and risk fines of up to £3,000 if they let to someone without the legal right to live in the UK.
  • Rogue landlords are being weeded out by councils for some of the worst cases of illegal eviction, according to the Local Government Association. 

March

  • Tenants face the first rises in market rents since the autumn, as the private rented sector braces for anti-landlord policies, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index
  • Court fees for applying for a Section 21 accelerated possession and Section 8 NON rent arrears are now £355 (27% uplift on previous fees.

April

  • The Government introduces a new 3% stamp duty surcharge on all buy-to-let investment or second homes.
  • The 10% wear and tear allowance on furnished properties is no longer applicable
  • Liverpool City Council withdraws council tax discounts for ALL empty properties. In addition to this, any property which remain empty for two years will be charged an additional 50% Empty Property Premium.
  • Tenants now have the right to request energy efficiency improvements to the property they are renting which may not be unreasonably refused by their landlord

 May

  • A survey of nearly 1,400 private rented sector landlords undertaken by BDRC Continental on behalf of Paragon Mortgages has revealed that increasing numbers are considering moving their property investments into limited company vehicles. The move comes as landlords plan for the increased rate of stamp duty on buy-to-let purchases and cuts to landlord tax relief.
  • Recent research carried out by Direct Line has indicated tenants are now adopting a more short-term view on renting as the average assured shorthold tenancy length is just 18 months,

June

  • Rents in Britain rose by an average of 2.5% in the 12 months to May, which was a marginal fall from the 2.6% annual increase recorded in the previous month, according o the latest data.
  • The National Landlords Association (NLA) urges Landlords to remain calm after Brexit vote

July

  • Gavin Barwell is announced as the New Housing Minister
  • A landlord in Wirral has been slapped with the highest ever fine handed out across the borough after pleading guilty for failing to implement satisfactory management standards following an inspection by officers from Wirral Council. He was fined £10,339 for allowing sharers to live in his property, converted into 20 bedsits, which was in an appalling state, with plenty of serious health and safety hazards.

August

  • From April 2018, buy-to-let landlords must raise the energy efficiency of their rental homes to at least Band E. That means that up to 330,000 That means that around 330,000 residential properties currently in bands F and G will require major works.
  • HMRC has launched a series of Making Tax Digital Consultations, which set out radical detailed plans on how they propose the make tax digital and simplify the tax system for Landlords

September

  • Planning consent for the construction of an £82m private rented sector (PRS) residential waterfront tower in Liverpool has been approved by the local authority. 
  • Final applications and payment fees for Liverpool Landlord licencing on our managed properties has now been completed.

October

  • Louis Anastasiou speaks at this year’s Merseyside's Landlord and Property Show in the Exhibition Centre.
  • A landlord has become the first to be prosecuted by Liverpool City Council for failing to sign up to the citywide selective licensing scheme.  He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay the council's legal costs
  • Landlords lose legal challenge over buy-to-let tax changes. The  planned tax changes which come into force from April 2017 will stop buy-to-let mortgage interest payments being a claimable business expense.
  • The Property Ombudsman code of Practice now states that all landlords and agents must now have express consent (probably in writing) from a tenant allowing an inspection. Telling the tenants you will assume consent unless you hear from them will no longer be permited.This will become especially tricky when you suspect a tenant has vacated as most agents will carry out an inspection to confirm.  

November

  • Buy to let landlords have yet another business cost to swallow as Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed letting agent fees for tenants will be scrapped in England.A recent poll suggests 40% of landlords set to set to raise rents if they are to pay agent admin fees
  • Landlord wins council tax court case against Leeds City Council - The Appeal Court has ruled landlords are not responsible for paying council tax on a property when a tenant moves out before their tenancy agreement has expired.
  • Insurance Premium tax is increased again and will rise to 12% from June 2017.

December

  • Right to Rent becomes a Criminal Offence - From 1 December, landlords could be charged with a criminal offence if they know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that they are letting to an illegal migrant.
  • Buy-to-let landlords face paying an extra £6,700 on their mortgages when new rules forcing them to take out longer term loans are introduced at the start of 2017. Many landlords currently choose to take out two-year deals because they are cheaper than longer-term loans. However, the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee plans to make it harder for landlords to secure short-term mortgages after being granted greater powers over the buy-to-let market by the government.

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