Curtis Law advising Fylde Coast Landlords about change.

13 December 2017

Iain Blundell, Solicitor leading our Landlord and Tenant department, was recently invited to speak at the Fylde Coast Landlords Forum at Blackpool Town Hall.

This is a difficult time for Landlords, with a huge number of regulatory and legislative changes impacting how they run their portfolios and, ultimately, whether that can be done profitably. Curtis Law were pleased to be given the opportunity to address the landlords at this time and provide them with an update on the changes coming in.

Curtis Law Solicitors have expertise in advising Landlords across the region on a range of legal matters. This includes how to deal with rent arrears, damaged property and bad tenants. Iain Blundell represents a number of Landlords across the North West of England and has previously spoken at the North West Landlords Association meetings.

Iain spoke to the Fylde Coast Landlords Forum about the following changes:-

  • Changes to the formal Section 21 Notices which are served at the end of a Tenancy. This encompasses changes to the ‘prescribed’ documents which are required to be served, including Gas Safety Certificates, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), and a Government ‘How to Rent’ leaflet.
  • Tax changes, including the Stamp Duty surcharge on second properties, changes to the 10% “wear and tear” tax break, and the mortgage interest tax relief being reduced to zero by 2020.
  • The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and claims being brought against Landlords for not correctly protecting a deposit or complying with the scheme.
  • The Tenants Fees Bill, currently working its way through Parliament. Removing any charges payable by Tenants, other than the monthly rent, a refundable holding deposit limited to 1 week’s rent, and a refundable security deposit limited to 6 week’s rent. Significant penalties for none compliance. 
  • A proposed Landlord Ombudsman Service: a compulsory redress and dispute resolution service intended to provide tenants with an added level of protection.
  • A Debt Recovery Pre-Action Protocol which came into force in October 2017 and allows debtors an initial 30days notice before Court action can be commenced.
  • Looking further ahead, Fire regulatory changes will no doubt be brought in following the ongoing Grenfell Tower enquiries.

Iain comments: “It’s important that landlords are aware of these changes. Failure to comply with the obligations placed on a landlord can cost them time and money. Some failures can also incur civil or criminal penalties and, in the most extreme cases, this could include jail time!”

If any Landlords are unsure of their obligations, or need advice about any of the changes coming through, our team at Curtis Law Solicitors would be pleased to assist.

Clearly, there is a lot for Landlords to be aware of! If you are a new landlord, starting up with one property, you perhaps still have a full time job. Have you got the time to read up on all of these changes? At the other end of the scale, the company running multiple properties and dealing with dozens of tenants needs to ensure that they get it right every time. One simple error can become a very expensive mistake!

Are you a landlord? Or Letting Agent? Do you need advice about how to deal with tenants, tenancy agreements, or property matters? Iain Blundell, or our expert team, can assist across a wide range of Landlord and Tenant enquiries – please contact us direct on 01254 297130.