Fran Mulhall, explains the key challenges faced by UK landlords and why it's vital that they seek support from an informed agent who knows what they're talking about.
Fran, who is the Regional Operations Manager at GFW Letting, had this to say: “2016 and beyond will bring a number of key legislative changes that landlords across the country must know about and understand the implications they bring. Here I briefly explain what they are and how landlords can be guided through the changing market.
First off, the three percent increase in stamp duty tax on buy-to-let (BTL) properties in April will have a big impact. It will cost more to purchase a BTL property which could make it harder for new landlords to enter BTL market and for existing landlords to add to their stock. Then there’s the abolition of the wear and tear allowance and the removal of loan interest relief.
Wear and tear allowance can be claimed to cover the cost of replacing furnishings and this is calculated at 10 percent of net rents. From April however, landlords will only be able to claim on actual amount spent, not the 10 percent as a standard claim. April 2017 sees the end of deductions on mortgage loan interest rates so you can understand what the potential losses could be for landlords.
The changes will turn up the heat on landlords across the UK so it is vital that they use respected property agents that are informed and up-to-date with key legislation and realise how they impact their assets not just now but in the long-term. Indeed, the role of the letting agent is even more pivotal than before - we need to guide, advise and support landlords as part of our offering and continually provide a quality and transparent service. Anything less will only serve to create a black hole of misunderstanding in an increasingly challenging market.
As an agent I know first-hand how crucial our role is to ensuring landlords are advised and supported appropriately. I would advise any landlord to ensure that they feel 100 percent confident that their current agent will inform them of any new law or change in law and how this will affect them and the steps they should take to protect their assets. An educated, responsible and engaged agent makes a huge difference and landlords should not accept anything less when it comes to the care of their often lifelong investments."