The private rental sector is seeing some of its biggest changes in recent years, and the pressure is on for letting agents to adapt and keep aware of the future changes.
2020 will see tenant fees banned on all current tenancy agreements, not just new ones, so now is the time to prepare to offset lost income. Automated admin solutions, additional services charged to landlords and, in some areas, increasing rents can make up for these losses.
Mortgage Interest Relief (MIR) on rental properties will see its final phasing out and be cut to 0% from next tax year, meaning some landlords may sell up, raise rent or neglect maintenance duties to reduce costs. While we at ARLA continue to argue the benefits of MIR, agents can support and advise their landlords to ensure their properties remain viable sources of income and offer services that will prevent landlords leaving the market.
The Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA), rogue landlords and letting agents database, minimum EPC ratings, fire safety and electrical checks continue to be top priorities for the future too, agents need to ensure that their landlords are prepared for changes coming to the sector.
More than ever, the lettings industry is under scrutiny, but prepared agents will see their business flourish as they can prove their worth to their landlord.
David Cox is Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark. He joined ARLA, Association of Residential Letting Agents, in January 2014 bringing a sharply focused policy and stakeholder engagement perspective. David has worked alongside a diverse board of experienced practitioners from across the industry to transform ARLA into ARLA Propertymark, an organisation which protects consumers through measures including Client Money Protection, campaigning for mandatory regulation of the lettings industry and raising professional standards. David has held senior policy roles at the National Landlords Association (NLA) and the International Union of Property Owners (UIPI); a trained barrister, David has also acted as Parliamentary Advisor to a well-known backbench MP.
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