What could 2019 have in store for Residential Landlord and Tenants?

 

A Ban on Tenants’ Fees

The Tenants Fee Bill is currently going through Parliament and is likely to become law in the spring subject to any major political upheavals.

If the bill becomes law then it will remove letting agents’ charges to tenants. They will only be required to pay their rent and deposit when they sign up to a new tenancy. These changes mean that additional fees such as carrying out inventory and reference checks will no longer be allowed, although landlords will still be able to charge for replacing lost keys by tenants or for late payment of rent. The letting agents my still wish to charge for these services but these costs will have to be paid by the landlord. This could obviously lead to higher rents in order for the landlords to recoup some of these costs.

A Cap of Tenants’ Deposits

The Act is likely also to put a cap on how much tenants should have to pay for damage deposits at the start of the tenancy. Up until now there has been no cap on these deposits. The Government has proposed a maximum cap of five weeks rent for properties where the annual rent is less than £50,000. If the rent is more than £50,000 the deposit would be a maximum of six weeks rent.

Three Year Tenancies

The Government is also in consultation at the moment to consider introducing a three year tenancy term, with a six month break clause which means you could serve notice after six months. The aim is to give greater security to families who are in the rental market. However, there are concerns that should they introduce such a measure it could put off potential property investors as it give them less flexibility with their investment portfolio. This could be one step too far for the Government who may decide not to proceed with such a strategy.

“It’s interesting times for landlords going into the New Year. Clearly the Government is trying to protect the interests of tenants in view of the housing crisis but the measures proposed could very well have the opposite effect by reducing the rental market by putting off potential landlords and even pushing up rents. We will obviously have to watch this space.” Julian Ireland Partner.

If you have any queries in respect of the above, please do not hesitate to contact Julian Ireland of Pictons Solicitors LLP on 01582878543 or via email at Julian.ireland@pictons.co.uk

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