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It’s been 10 years since the introduction and implementation of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in August 2007. The document was originally a part of the Home Information Pack (HIP) for domestic properties, the objective of which was to include recommendations on ways to improve a property’s energy efficiency in order to save money. So, why is the EPC’s 10th birthday important? There is a possibility some EPCs may be due to expire this year after being issued 10 years ago. It may even mean that the earliest EPC’s have already expired and are invalid.
So as we’ve been looking at 10 years of the EPC, we should also turn our attention to the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDP) which is also celebrating its 10-year birthday. For those that are new to the rental market, deposits must be place into a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme. The Housing Act 2004 requires landlords and letting agents to protect their tenants’ deposits on assured shorthold tenancies, in an approved and protected tenancy deposit scheme (TDP). There are different schemes available if your property is in England or Wales;
Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in September, Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn announced his plan to explore the implementation of rent controls on private landlords, should the party to come into power. If plans were to follow existing models, it would be likely the amount landlords can charge tenants would be capped. Corbyn said he would follow similar models already in place in Ontario, Berlin and New York, where property owners are banned from raising rents by more than 10% of the local average.
New Mortgage Rules for Portfolio Landlords Phase 1 of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) changes to buy-to-let mortgage lending were introduced in January 2017. They introduced stricter affordability tests, including a stress test on interest rate rises for buy-to-let landlords. Now, the industry is preparing for Phase 2 which is targeting new rules for Portfolio Landlords. (Portfolio landlords are those with four or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties.) This new stress testing is based on PRA findings showing that arrears rates increase as portfolio size grows. A Guide to the PRA’s Portfolio Landlord Underwriting Changes
Looking at this week’s General Election, we’re considering how the different results may impact upcoming Housing Legislation. Firstly, it is likely that some of the pending legislation will be delayed or even lost if a new Housing Minister is appointed. Banning Letting Agent Fees - The Government published its consultation paper on the banning of letting agent fees paid by tenants and the consultation itself continues until last Friday, 2 June 2017.

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