Being a landlord can be a good way of investing money and seeing a return, but it is not without its challenges. There is a lot of legislation to understand, with regular changes and updates. Read on for just some of the things to be aware of this year.

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For more information about your obligations as a landlord, Landlord Law is a great resource.

1. Licence to lease

Councils have been making the decision locally as to whether their landlords should adhere to a code of practice. Adherence varies nationwide, so prospective landlords should check their local regulations for guidance.

2. Rogue landlord database

On the other side of the registration idea is a database of ‘rogues’, where those banned from leasing a property will be listed.

3. Right to rent

Since early 2016, it has been the responsibility of the landlord to check whether their tenants have the right to be in the UK long term. There are strict penalties for those who do not comply.

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4. Energy Performance Certificates

The EPC is still relatively new and is designed to measure a property’s energy efficiency in a bid to give more transparency to tenants. There are hefty fines for those providing inaccurate information. Property inventory software from a provider such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/ can help landlords to keep on top of EPCs and maintenance.

5. Affordability changes

Tougher mortgage lending rules are set to affect landlords with a property portfolio of more than four. Landlords will need to provide much more detail about each property rather than an overall picture.

6. Leasehold uproar will continue

The government is taking steps to quash the scandal that broke in 2017 that saw harsh ground rent clauses in many leases on new-build homes. To rectify the issue, plans are unfolding for existing leaseholders to be able to buy their freehold if they choose. This will be of particular interest to owner-occupiers, but also to buy-to-let landlords.

There is a lot of legislation to keep on top of. Many landlords find it beneficial to take on some sort of management company to help with the workload and ensure compliance for their property or properties. It is recommended that landlords take advice and use some of the technology available to keep everything in line.

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