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2022 is seeing in a number of landlord and tenancy law changes. From landlord tax to the default stance on allowing pets, below are the most important changes that landlords need to be aware of.

Tax Changes

Capital Gains changes are perhaps one of the most relieving updates for 2022. Reporting deadlines have doubled for Capital Gains Tax due to a report from the Office for Tax Simplification; property sellers now have 60 days to file and pay this bill, rather than the current 30. This officially began at the end of October 2021, so applies to all properties sold since then.

VAT is now also becoming digital. Businesses with taxable turnover of £85,000 or higher already have to record and submit their VAT digitally, but as of April 2022, this now includes all businesses generating less than £85,000 as well.

There has also been a proposed increase in council tax rates for short-term rentals in England, which is already under consideration in Wales.

Rent and Eviction Changes

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will come into effect from July 15th 2022. This is to make it easier to rent in Wales and increase protection for renters. Within this, ‘no fault’ evictions will have a new notice period of six months, but these grounds will only be applicable to an eviction six months or more into a contract. Landlords must also meet certain obligations to serve a ‘no fault’ eviction.

On the contrary, the end of March 2022 saw the end of 6-month eviction notices in Scotland. The notice period now returns to what they were before: this means that landlords only need to give a tenant 28 days’ notice to evict them if the tenant has lived at the property for less than 6 months, or 84 days if they have been there 6 months or more.

Temporary right to rent checks in England have now ended as of April 2022, which were implemented during the coronavirus pandemic to keep tenants and landlords safe. These included showing right to rent documents over video call and scanning/photographing copies, but will now be moved to the online right to rent service so that people can still benefit by not having to complete their right to rent checks in person.

Pets

Landlords can now no longer issue a blanket ban on pets in rented homes. Allowing pets is now the default – a landlord must object in writing within 28 days of request from a tenant to house a pet. They must provide good reason for rejection – e.g. if a property is too small to practically have a pet.

Alongside this, a bill has been proposed in which all pet owners must undergo a responsible ownership test, conducted by a registered vet. This bill has not yet been passed, but would include mandatory microchipping, deworming and defleaing, administration of all required vaccinations, and the ability to respond to basic commands.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Private landlords must currently establish that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms function properly when a tenancy begins, ensure that there is a smoke alarm on every floor, and that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed wherever relevant. There is not yet a set date for amendments to this, but when they do take place, these requirements will be necessary of social landlords as well as private landlords.

Energy Efficiency

The minimum energy standard is expected to raise from the current ‘E’ to ‘C’ for new tenancies as of April 2026 in England, and in all other pre-established tenancies by April 2028. We are still awaiting an official government announcement regarding this change, so please watch this space for updates.

How Howells Can Help

At Howells Solicitors, our property law services can help you keep on top of tenancy and landlord law changes. We offer a comprehensive range of services for landlords that you can access simply by getting in touch. We look forward to chatting to you.

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