Landlords warned - prepare for more regulation
Landlords in England are being warned that they should prepare for more regulation after the government published a consultation.
The warning comes from Tim Miles who is a partner at law firm Clarke Willmott.
He says that the Government is consulting on issues of electrical safety which could have a major effect on private landlords as well as the country’s BTL sector.
The consultation could see landlords being compelled to carry out mandatory electrical safety installation checks on each of the rental properties they own every five years
The move follows a similar set-up in Scotland and the consultation could see landlords being fined for failure to comply of between £5,000 and £30,000.
Safety checks on electrical appliances supplied by the landlord
However, unlike the regulations in Scotland, the government's consultation does not demand safety checks on any electrical appliances that have been supplied by the landlord.
Also, landlords should be aware the consultation could see them being prevented from evicting a tenant with a section 21 notice unless the tenant has previously been offered a copy of the property’s electrical installation documentation.
Should the consultation be approved, then later in 2018 the regulations could be made into law.
Tim Miles says: “Private landlords should prepare for growing regulation and not see this consulting as a stand-alone but as a bigger package.
“Another consultation that proposes that landlords sign to a housing ombudsman has also been released and these are part of a government bid for protecting tenants post-Grenfall.”
He added the electrical safety check being every five years is currently only a proposal and depending on the responses, the period between checks could be varied.
Landlords in the North West enjoyed best rent growth
Meanwhile, it's been revealed that rents in the year to January grew by 2.5% in England and Wales.
According to data from Your Move, the average rent being paid every month is £829.
However, for landlords in the north east and London these were the only areas to record a fall while those in the North West saw rents rise by 2.9%.
The data highlights that some areas are enjoying strong demand including Liverpool and Manchester plus parts of Lancashire and Cheshire.
Your Move’s lettings manager, Vicki Cullen, said: “Demand remains strong in Manchester and East Lancashire because of easy commuter and transport links.”
The figures highlight that northern regions are offering the best returns for investors with those in the north east enjoying yields of 5%, higher than anywhere else.