As we are about to enter the second decade of the 21st Century, and with the prospect of a new government half way through next year, perhaps now is a good time to take stock of the planned and likely new legislation which will affect landlords.
Since the current government came to power we are told that well over 3500 new criminal offences have been created—that is astounding!
Parliamentary legislative activity, it seems, has been frenetic, with regulation after regulation, much of it rushed through, affecting almost every walk of life.
Whilst one must accept that more rules are an inevitable consequence of an advanced information society, does anyone in government ever stop to consider the costs against the benefits of all this legislative burden on businesses generally, and in our case landlords in particular?
With an army of bureaucrats in Westminster and Brussels making all these rules, resulting in many thousands more jobs and costs needed for compliance, can the net benefit / cost to our society ever be accurately calculated or justified?
In any case, do all these rules actually work in practice? How effective was that bureaucratic colossus, the FSA, in preventing mortgage fraud or curbing the impact of the Credit Crunch?
Finally, are these rules being enforced? Very often it seems that existing legislation is not adequately applied, and overstretched authorities, it would appear, are struggling to interpret all of this new legislation – let alone enforce it.
Since much of the rental property related legislation currently in the pipeline is unlikely to see the light of day during this current parliament, will it survive and be implemented by the next government, even if there is a change of government? Watch this space!
Tom Entwistle, Editor
Gone are the days, it would seem, when the occasional landlord or even the professional landlord could let a property on a whim, with the minimum of paperwork and legal knowledge.
Anyone letting a property today, including the reluctant or travelling landlord letting his own home, must have a good grasp of the letting laws, and this requirement is likely to grow as new laws are introduced.
No doubt this will please the letting agents, as more landlords will rely on their expertise to steer them clear of trouble, and the best agents do a good job in this.
Whilst it might seem a logical and perhaps desirable next step to bring in regulation of letting agents, given the trust that landlords and tenants must place in them, and the monies they hold as bankers, is it a step too far to require licensing of every landlord and their properties, in the country?
Today we are faced with several pieces of legislation which could take the process of letting property to the next level—a situation which may increasingly discourage particularly occasional landlords from offering their much needed housing accommodation.
In this issue of the LandlordZONE Newsletter we explore the breadth of the proposed changes and their likely impact over the coming months.
Just one example is the possibility of landlords being held responsible for water bills: the cost would inevitably go on rents, but metered water bills would increase considerably as there’s then no accountability or incentive for tenants to save water.
This newsletter was written by David Lawrenson of www.LettingFocus.com – home of Independent Unbiased Property Investment Information and “Successful Property Letting – How to Make Money in Buy to Let” – consistently the UK’s top selling property book for the last three years.
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