With increased interest in Buy to let and property investments, the private rented sector has attracted many changes in legislation.
Every week we shall and attempt to familiarise ourselves with issues affecting existing and potential landlords and the Taxable allowances thereon incurred.
Overall, the housing act 2004 introduced many changes affecting the private rented sector replacing FITNESS standards under the old environmental health rules.
Landlords and letting agents have a duty to make sure that a property they rent out is “FIT” at the time of letting. Failure to do this could lead to prosecution. It is important that Landlords suffer the expenditure required to comply and keep good records and receipts so Taxfile can maximise your relief against both capital gains and income tax.
To begin with HMO – Houses in Multiple Occupation include bedsits, shared houses, hostels, bed & breakfast.
Not all HMOs are licensable although the larger HMOs do need a licence. Some local authorities have adopted selective licensing and, where this applies, all privately rented properties require a licence.
HHSRS – Housing Health and Safety Rating System, applies to all residential accommodation (not just the privately rented sector) and is enforced by the Environmental Health Officer who will arrive at a “Fitness score” for the hazard rating of your property. It enables local authorities to deal with 29 different risks hazards, include cold and heating, ventilation, trips and falls, security, lighting, and the complex area of danger from fire.
Fire; both local councils and the fire and rescue services have a role in enforcing Fire standards and I shall discuss this further next week.