Being a landlord can be lucrative but there are many challenges and hurdles for landlords to overcome. The government has been layering an ever increasing burden on landlords in particular with excessive levels of compliance and legislation.
I have been working closely with many landlords operating in the local area, and I know the difficulties that professionals in the industry face. Rising costs and increasing demands cause problems but for many landlords, it is the number of regulations impacting on their business which leaves them wondering if they should continue to operate in the market.
Electrical safety is being placed under the same level of scrutiny as gas!
In 2018, landlords will likely have to contend with an increased level of focus on electrical safety. There has been a focus on gas safety in the industry for some time, but it is only now that electrical safety is being placed under the same level of scrutiny as gas. With many landlords feeling that they are already at their limit with respect to time, money and effort dealing with regulations, it is only natural that there are concerns about these latest changes and what will happen in the buy-to-let market.
Landlords will have to review their property
It is believed that these changes will require landlords to carry out electrical installation safety checks on their property every five years. Given that some landlords have a considerable amount of property in their portfolio, this could become an expensive and time-consuming issue for many professional in the buy-to-let sector.
This style of regulation is already in place in Scotland, which means that anyone looking for guidance on what could happen should consider this market. While there is an expectation that the guidelines in England and Wales will not be as strict as what is stated in Scotland, there are still issues for local landlords to be aware of. The range of punishments that are set to be imposed on landlords who fail to comply with the regulations are of note. This is because the fines are tipped to range between £5,000 and £30,000; so strong penalties can be imposed. The scale of these penalties will provide a natural incentive for landlords to comply with the regulations.
Landlords may find that their rights are restricted
Another issue that landlords should be aware of is that if they don’t comply with the regulations, they could lose the ability to issue a Section 21 Notice to evict tenants. This is currently in place with gas safety regulations, and it is unlikely to be a surprise if it is implemented with respect to electrical safety too.
It is fair to say that many landlords find themselves under severe pressure thanks to the level of regulations they must adhere to. While there is an acceptance that a larger focus on electrical safety will be of benefit in the industry, complying with every regulation can be tough, and we know that many landlords benefit from assistance.
Article by: Natalia Gombalova