With rising rents, the renter's reform bill and energy-efficient focuses - 2023 was an eventful year for the UK private rental sector.
As we look to 2024, improving property conditions and protecting tenants are still a main focus, but more recognition for the effect on our UK landlords has emerged.
In this blog, we dive into four key topics landlords need to be aware of in 2024.
In an attempt to improve housing conditions across the board, several boroughs have announced that they will be expanding their Selective Licensing Scheme. These boroughs include Brent, Lambeth and Lewisham, but we expect more expansions to emerge in 2024.
The point of a Selective License Scheme is to ensure that properties that fall under the designated area are in good condition, compliant, and maintain the required standards throughout the tenancies.
Buy-to-let mortgage rates are dropping
Though not as quickly as we would have hoped, buy-to-let mortgage rates are falling, and it sets a positive tone for the rest of the year. According to Money Facts, the average rate for a two-year fixed buy-to-let mortgage peaked at 6.97% between July 24 and 26 this year. Money Facts then reported in November 2023 that the average has fallen to 6.02%.
Whilst the rate remains much higher than the 2021 rate, we're hopeful that buy-to-let mortgages will continue to fall with the fall of inflation and the upcoming announcements on base rates.
Energy Efficient homes have been temporarily scrapped
To avoid "unacceptable costs on hard-pressed British families." Rishi Sunak scrapped the upcoming 2025 legislation that would see private rented properties need to meet a threshold of "C" on their energy performance certificates.
Whilst this is a temporary positive for our UK landlords, it's not indefinite and, at some point, a new strategy will be announced. Towards the end of 2023, we sat down with accredited EPC Assessor Andrew to discuss how UK homeowners can prepare for the upcoming changes.
Section 21 eviction reforms have been delayed
The ban was originally brought forward in the 2019 Conservative Manifesto. But in October 2023, Parliament announced an indefinite delay on banning Section 21 "no-fault" evictions due to a need for court reforms before proceeding with the ban.
Although there is no timeframe on when the ban will be in place, it still is coming, but rest assured when it does come, there will be plans to give landlords more power when evicting tenants due to anti-social behaviour and missed rent payments.
Read more on how the Section 21 eviction ban could affect you; click here to watch a short video.