Survey shows landlords ‘struggling’ to keep up with reforms

30% didn’t understand HMO regulations, 28% in the dark over the abolition of Section 21, and 27% unaware of letting fees ban.


New research shows many landlords are struggling to keep up with new legislative and regulatory reforms introduced over the past year.

An independent survey of 400 landlords found 30% do not understand the changes to House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licencing and 28% were unaware of the abolition of Section 21.

Commissioned by Market Financial Solutions (MFS), the survey shows many of the UK’s landlords are struggling to keep pace with new legislative and regulatory reforms.

“The legislation and regulation governing the UK’s rental market is constantly evolving, and today’s research clearly shows that landlords are struggling to keep pace with significant reforms that, for the most part, are rightly designed to protect tenants,” said MFS CEO Paresh Raja.

“Nevertheless, there’s evidently frustration among landlords who feel they are being unfairly targeted, particularly when it comes to the stricter taxes being introduced.

“It’s essential that anyone renting out a property – even if they would not consider themselves a landlord – understands all the new reforms and takes action to ensure their properties meet the necessary standards and their finances are structured in line with the new reforms,” he said.

The survey found 30% of respondents did not understand the changes to House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing, which came into effect in October 2018 to stipulate on the minimum sizes of rooms.

Almost one in three (28%) admitted to not fully knowing what the abolition of Section 21 means. The reform, which was implemented in June 2019, aims to prevent unfair tenant evictions.

A similar number (27%) said they do not understand the tenant fees ban (June 2019) or how it may affect them.

The research revealed as similar lack of knowledge over tax reforms likely to impact on landlords.

A quarter (25%) said they were not up to date with the latest changes to reduce tax relief on Buy To Let mortgage repayments, while even more (28%) didn’t understand the reforms to inheritance tax with regard to passing down properties.

The survey also showed widespread opposition to the new legislative changes.

Over two-fifths (44%) of landlords said they were against the ban on tenant fees, compared to 23% in favour.

The abolition of Section 21 (37% against, 16% for), and the changes to Buy To Let mortgage relief (48% against, 16% for) attracted similar disapproval.

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