Welcome to our weekly Newsround where we bring you housing news that is trending this week, and a little bit more.
New Energy Efficiency guide for landlords
The Industry Property Eye reports that The Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the NRLA have co-written a new energy efficiency guide specifically for landlords in order to try and improve energy efficiency in rented properties.
Steve Harriott CEO at the TDS says
Across the UK, energy bills are at an all-time high following the latest energy price-cap rise. Within the Private rented sector (PRS), we’re finding that landlords are increasingly concerned about how to keep energy costs down and support their tenants, while having further concerns about improving their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), as a result of proposed changes coming to the minimum EPC rating.
The guide gives low cost tips for both landlords and tenants along with long term ideas including some government grants in order to improve the property’s EPC rating.
You can download your free copy here.
Energy efficiency is high on NRLA’s agenda as they have also called for clarity on the governments energy efficiency targets.
Government must help landlords achieve their energy targets
Ben Beadle NRLA’s Chief Executive, says that the government must tell landlords what they need to do in order to hit their deadline of an EPC rating of C or above from 2025 for new tenancies and 2028 for all tenancies.
Currently 58% of private rented properties have a rating of C or lower, this includes properties that were built before 1919 which means making improvements on these properties expensive and challenging.
Cost implications and not fully knowing what the exact targets are is putting landlords at risk of not achieving the government’s goals.
NRLA is pushing the government to produce firm guidance and dates. Rather than the flat cost of £10,000 which the government have currently set, NRLA are asking that the costs for work should be linked to the average market rents in any given area. Furthermore, they want to see a financial package of support to include a new tax allowance for landlords who are undertaking this work to reach a Net Zero property.
See also our post here on issues with insulation and EPCs.
Demand continues to outstrip rented properties
Demand for rented properties continues to strongly outweigh supply according to a SpareRoom poll. Their poll also suggests that going forward into 2023 will see further supply decline coupled with landlords exiting the market altogether and landlords admitting to be being at an all-time low.
Matt Hutchinson, director at SpareRoom says
Although demand has eased since the record peaks we saw in August and September, the combined effect of low supply and the cost-of-living crisis means rents have continued to rise. The last 12 months has seen rents across the UK hit record highs and, unless new supply comes into market over the coming months, it’s hard to see those rents come down meaningfully in 2023.
High rents not only make it difficult for tenants who need to move now, it also means that many stay put to avoid paying more rent.
Their data also identifies that rents have reached an all-time high in Q4 2022 with an average room rent increasing 13 per cent year on year.
Landlord’s petition rebuffed by Government
The Government has dismissed a petition signed by landlords asking for the Section 24 tax changes to be reversed.
Over 28,000 landlords had signed the petition. Changes mean that now tax is payable on all rental income upfront which can put a landlord into the higher tax bracket, especially if they have another full time job. Landlords only have the basic rate reduction from their tax liability up to 20%.
You can read what the Government’s response was here.
And finally, today it the tax on second homes has taken another step forward.
Second Homes tax imminent
Cornwall Council has approved a higher council tax charge on second homes.
This could bring an additional 25m in revenue for them and was agreed by all parties. It will come into force next April 2024 subject to the relevant legislation being approved by Parliament by the end of this March. You can read more here.
Does this mean more councils will follow suit?
AML fines issued to estate agents rise as HMRC crackdown continues
Haringey landlord fined £2,500 for unlicensed HMO
Would you adapt your property for older tenants?
Scots ‘flippant disregard’ of PRS will make housing shortage worse
Renters’ groups to help create Good Landlord Charter
Banned! Rogue landlord cannot let property for three years
Will the Rental Market ever Cool Off?
Newsround will be back next week.