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What's Ahead For The Lettings Industry in 2019?

13th Dec 2018

Category: Opinion

2019 is sure to be another year full of change in our industry. It’s a year where we’re already aware of some upcoming pressures and as 2018 comes to a close we will take the opportunity to plan and prepare for them.

Here are some of the changes we are already planning for:

  • Tenant Fee Ban:

You have likely heard this bill is currently going through the House of Lords. We have been in touch with members of the House of Lords, emailing back and forth to make representation for you. The Tenant Fee Ban not only includes tenant fees but also landlord charges. Pressure was on the government to deliver tenant friendly legislation, so we are pushing to represent the landlord view.

Part of the bill includes deposit caps. This is a point that really will impact us as we charge larger deposits when we have tenants who want to have a pet or have a poor credit history, for example. Ultimately this is likely to impact rents as the risk will have to be made up from elsewhere.

The bill also includes changes to late rent charges. Charges now cannot be applied in the first 14 days of late rental payment. While we believe it is perfectly fair and reasonable that if someone is late with their rent, they should be charged for that and for the administration of chasing, the government seemingly do not. This change will impact some of our processes and we will adapt our chasing procedures to deal with it. We will also be working even harder on having good relationships with tenants.

  • EPC Caps:

Changes are to be brought in with regard to minimum efficiency standards in the property. In our view this is a good thing. Generally when people are in a good quality property they are happy tenants and more likely to pay rent on time and stay longer and we believe that better quality housing stock is good for the lettings sector.

  • Brexit:

In all of this we have not yet mentioned the B word! The uncertainty of Brexit is sure to have an impact. However, we do believe it will inevitably create opportunity in the market for those looking to acquire and expand their property portfolios.

Phil Ashford

Partner MEng(Hons) ACA MARLA

An experienced Chartered Accountant and a Founding Partner of Comfort Lettings.

Connect with me on Linkedin


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