Landlords are unaware of several current and incoming regulations that could affect their portfolio, an online letting agent has claimed.
Urban.co.uk surveyed more than 4,000 landlords to assess knowledge of forthcoming regulations such as new Energy Performance Certificate rules as well as current schemes such as Right to Rent and rules on tenancy agreements.
Just 52% of respondents knew it would be illegal to let properties with an EPC rating of F or G from April 2018, while 17% weren’t aware of the changes. However, another 31% thought the rules came in this June or December.
A fifth of respondents were unaware about rules on accessing a tenanted property, while 70% couldn’t correctly identify the penalties – unlimited fines and imprisonment – for failing to comply with Right to Rent regulations.
A third were unsure of when a gas safety certificate should be issued, while 90% didn’t know whether a tenancy agreement needed to be reissued if there was a new tenant.
The majority were aware of the mortgage interest relief changes and the need for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Adam Male, co-founder of Urban.co.uk, said: “One reason to explain the lack of industry knowledge could be due to the recent influx in new regulations, which have flooded the rental market.
“With landlords facing more changes than ever over the past couple of years, it is no surprise that many find it tricky to keep up. Unfortunately that’s no defence should it all go disastrously wrong.
“Every day we see examples of landlords going above and beyond for their tenants. There’s always lots of news about ‘rogue landlords’ but there’s plenty of landlords out there who go the extra mile every day to ensure their tenants are safe, comfortable and happy, and I’m delighted that there are statistics that highlight this.
“It’s been tough for UK landlords recently, and we understand that making sure you do everything right can be confusing. Sometimes it feels like you’re clutching at straws – the minute you have a grip on something it changes again!
“However, we firmly believe that it is our responsibility – along with professional bodies in the industry – to provide clear and impartial advice to landlords.”