Landlords, find out how to survive this year's law changes

There have been a number of recent law changes that will affect or will already be affecting landlords. It can be a confusing and frustrating time for landlords. Here are a few tips to help you survive the law changes.

Research law changes
Not all law changes will affect every landlord in the country. You should take time to research the new laws and amendments and consider if it will affect your property. You may need to consult a property law specialist. If you take time to do this, you will be able to focus on the laws that you really need to take into account. Make sure that you ask for clarification from an expert if you’re unsure of anything.
 
Change tenancy agreements
Ask your estate agent for help and advice to overhaul your tenancy agreements. You don’t want to be caught out by one clause that you didn’t notice when redoing your agreements by yourself. Once you know which laws you need to consider, change the agreements and then ask somebody to proofread them. Remember that some of the laws won’t affect your existing rental agreements immediately, so you should draw up a timeline of deadlines and work out what you need to do to comply and by when.
 
Consider longer tenancy agreements
The recent law changes may make it more costly, at least initially, to lease a property. While you find your feet in a changing market, consider an 18- or 24-month rental agreement. You can rest assured that you will have an extended period of rental income and will be able to better work out costs.
 
Additional support
Don’t be afraid to ask for additional support. Your estate agent or property law specialist will be more than happy to guide you through new processes. You’ll be able to get the hang of it more quickly with expert advice and you’ll be less at risk of being unlawful.
 
Consult an expert accountant
An accountant with special expertise in property will be able to ensure that you satisfy all the requirements for certain tax breaks and returns. With a little extra cash in the pot, you won’t need to worry so much about lost income resulting from fee caps.
 
Review your existing insurance
The Fees Act might worry you. You don’t want to lose out on important income. You have to deal with deposit caps and fee bans. Now is the time to review your existing landlord insurance. Some policies have income protection, so you don’t need to worry about your property lying empty for long periods of time. You might consider higher protection for damage, as the new Fees Act caps the deposit amount. Speak to a property law expert and your estate agent and work out which aspects of insurance are important to you and which aspects you may need to change.
 
Yes, there has been much upheaval for landlords recently, but make use of the advice available to you and research the changes yourself - and don’t worry, you’re not alone – all landlords are going through the same stresses as you!