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Lettings Market Brief: Advice for landlords ahead of further legislation changes

Last month saw a much busier lettings market here in York with a greater number of properties, and greater demand, creating a higher turnover than earlier in the year. The extended Brexit delay has undoubtedly encouraged those who were holding on until after the initial exit deadline, to make a move sooner rather than later.

We have attended both ARLA and Rightmove conferences recently which have provided a welcome update on further impending legislation changes.

In the last two years, there have been 13 different changes to lettings industry legislation! Of course, this is something which we, as agents, take in our stride to ensure that our clients and their properties are covered, but it does beg the question as to how many independent landlords are aware of these changes and their impact?

As agents, we’re dealing with the updates to legislation day in day out, it’s all part of the service we provide, however landlords must be made aware that they are just as liable for ensuring their properties and tenancies are up to industry standard as we are as agents.

The conferences provided further clarification of the Tenant Fee Ban which will become law on 1st June 2019. Whilst the purpose behind this new legislation was to protect tenants and reduce the fees they are often forced to pay, it seems it may actually see tenants pay more over the course of their tenancy.

For example, additional fees for things such as allowing the tenant to have pets have, up until now, been included as part of a tenancy deposit, and therefore it was money the tenant would eventually get back provided the property was well looked after. Under the new rules, the pet premium will be added to the monthly rental price and, therefore, it will end up costing tenants more in the long run!

It is also important for both landlords and tenants to know that under the terms of the new Tenant Fee Ban, any fixed term renewal to existing tenancies after 1st June 2019 will have to refund any previous charges as landlords will only be able to hold five weeks rent as a deposit.

With so many legislation changes taking place, our advice to landlords, whether using a tenant find only or fully managed service, would be to speak to a reputable agent to make sure your property and tenancy agreements are in line with the current requirements.

If you would like to speak to a member of our dedicated lettings team, please call us on 01904 629629.

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