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August 14

2019
by Millie Wickens
Landlords perplexed by tax and legal changes

Significant numbers of private landlords are struggling to keep up with legal and tax reforms introduced in the past year.

Researchers who quizzed more than 400 landlords found that one in three are unsure about how new house in multiple occupation laws that came into effect last October impact their businesses.

A house in multiple occupation is a home to two or more separate tenants which is subject to strict licensing, health and safety regulations.

In addition, one in four are uncertain about the tenant fee ban which came into force on 1 June 2019.

Although many understand the new rules, one in five are unclear about precisely how they and their tenants are affected by them.

Tax was another issue causing confusion, says bridging lender Market Financial solutions, which commissioned the survey.

The firm says 28 per cent of landlords are in a muddle over inheritance tax changes that gives an extra tax break when a home is passed to close relatives, while 25 per cent are unsure about the phasing out of mortgage interest tax relief.

Landlords were also asked how they felt about these tax and law changes.

Only one in four supported the ban on tenant fees, compared to 44 per cent who were against it, while only 16 per cent were in favour of paying more tax through changes to buy-to-let mortgage relief, with 48 per cent against.

Paresh Raja, the lender’s chief executive, said: “The legislation and regulation governing the UK’s rental market is constantly evolving, and our research clearly shows that landlords are struggling to keep pace with the change.   

“There’s evidently frustration among landlords who feel they are being unfairly targeted, particularly when it comes to the stricter taxes being introduced.

“It’s essential that anyone renting out a property – even if they would not consider themselves a landlord – understands all the new reforms and takes action to ensure their properties meet the necessary standards and their finances are structured in line with the new reforms.”

Find out more about your requirements as a landlord in ‘Legislation for landlords: Everything you need to know’.

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