With the dust settling on the elections and everyone returning to normal, it is important that landlords know their obligations towards tenants and properties. The RLA Landlord Advice Team (LAT) and Policy & Communications are keen to draw your attention to updated guides and services. CO Alarms, building regulations, Capital Gains Tax for non-UK residents, and Selective Licensing factor.
Fire safety & Carbon Monoxide alarms
From the 1st October 2015, as approved by Parliament, regulations require smoke alarms and in certain circumstances carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in rented residential accommodation. Changes are also made to the licence requirements in relation to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), such as shared houses and bedsits which require a licence and also in relation to properties which are subject to selective licensing. Read more – Landlords welcome new [fire & CO] safety measures for PRS.
Building (Construction Design Management) Regulations from 6th April
It is the landlord’s responsibility to report any construction projects to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) if the construction phase is to be longer than 30 days or if it will involve more than 500 person days of construction work. There are obligations regarding the appointment of a CDM co-ordinator, any designer and the principal contractor. Although these requirements do not apply in non-business situations, they will apply to the landlord of a residential property, where construction work is being carried out.
Section 21 Notices and Evictions
The ‘Deregulation’ Bill…which is now an Act has changed items within the Private Rented Sector (PRS), nothing more so than deposit regulation and the role of evictions and Section 21 Notices.
Capital Gains Tax for Non-UK residents
Historically, landlords with rental properties who are non-resident for tax purposes and who have sold properties are exempt from capital gains so long as the seller has been non-resident for at least five years. This exemption ceases as from 6th April 2015. Non-residents become liable for capital gains tax, although not necessarily the full tax.
The RLA has created a guide with a series of questions and answers from HM Revenue and Customs giving details of the new regime applicable to non-residents.
Selective Licensing designation
Local Authorities now must apply for permission to enforce a licensing scheme that covered more than 20 per cent of an area. Local Authorities have to take more time in their proposals to prove that designated areas for licences suffer from low housing demand or where landlords have failed to deal with anti-social behaviour by their tenants.