December 6, 2022
Lettings – what laws are set to come into play in 2023?
Landlords have faced a number of years of increasing laws and legislation.
This has included the extra 3% stamp duty surcharge; changes to mortgage interest tax relief; the introduction of tenant fees. And changes to energy efficiency.
But what will 2023 bring?
Landlords may be relieved to hear that, at present, there isn’t a huge amount of lettings law confirmed for next year. Although, that being said, there is a chance that widespread rental reforms could finally be introduced in 2023. Which will have a big impact on those letting homes.
Below, we take a closer look at what landlords need to keep an eye out for.
1/ Changes to fire safety
It’s perhaps gone under the radar a bit compared to other recent major changes. But landlords – especially with homes in high-rise or multi-occupied buildings – need to be aware of upcoming changes to fire safety legislation.
Implemented on January 23 2023, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will enshrine into law most of the recommendations made by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in its Phase 1 report. Which necessitated a change in law.
The regulations will aim to improve the fire safety of blocks of flats. This in a manner which is ‘practical, cost-effective for individual leaseholders and proportionate to the risk of fire’.
As a result, responsible persons must, for high-rise residential buildings (multi-occupied residential building at least 18 metres in height or 7 or more storeys):
- share electronically with their local fire and rescue service (FRS) information about the building’s external wall system. And provide the FRS with electronic copies of floor plans and building plans for the building
- keep hard copies of the building’s floor plans, in addition to a single page orientation plan of the building. And the name and UK contact details of the responsible person in a secure information box which is accessible by firefighters
- install wayfinding signage in all high-rise buildings which is visible in low light conditions
- establish a minimum of monthly checks on lifts which are for the use of firefighters.
- inform the FRS if a lift used by firefighters or one of the pieces of firefighting equipment is out of order for longer than 24 hours
When it comes to multi-occupied residential buildings over 11 metres in height, responsible persons must carry out quarterly checks on all communal fire doors. And annual checks on flat entrance doors.
Lastly, in all multi-occupied residential buildings, responsible persons must provide residents with relevant fire safety instructions. And information about the importance of fire doors
As a landlord, fire safety is of vital importance. It’s something you have a legal and moral duty to get to grips with. So it’s important to be fully up to speed with the above. Get in touch with your letting agent if you’re unsure about anything.
2/ Renters’ Reform Bill may come into play
The government’s plans for widespread rental reform have been on the cards for some time. But have been variously held up by the pandemic, Brexit, the war in Ukraine, political issues and now the need to give priority to the cost-of-living crisis.
However, 2023 could be the year when that changes. Housing Secretary Michael Gove has said that reforms will be introduced next year.
The Bill will need to pass various parliamentary hurdles before it can become law. And parts of it are likely to face opposition. Which could slow progress down.
But, at the very least, the Bill should finally make its way to the first stage of parliamentary scrutiny next year.
3/ Changes to capital gains tax-free allowance
In the recent Autumn Statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced plans to more than halve the Capital Gains Tax tax-free allowance from April 2023, down from £12,300 to £6,000. From April 2024, it will halve again to £3,000.
This will impact on the profits landlords can make when they sell a home. Which could encourage them to sell before the changes come in. Or hold off selling for the time being.
This article explains capital gains tax, and the changes to it, in greater detail.
If you have any questions about letting a home in the London area, Atkinson McLeod is here to help.
To find out more about our services and current operations, please get in touch with our expert team today. You can find out how much you could be charging in rent each month on the current market by requesting a free and instant online valuation here.