The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has warned that rents will rise in the New Year due to a number of rule changes affecting landlords.
David Cox, ARLA managing director, says the various pieces of legislation coming into play in 2016 will result in increased compliance costs for landlords, and as a result push up rents for tenants.
“We urge the Government to re-think its proposals around reducing mortgage interest relief, scrapping the wear and tear allowance and hiking up stamp duty by 3% on buy-to-let properties. Whilst these remain, the Government’s goal of increasing the percentage of people in home ownership is getting further out of reach,” he said.
“The issue of supply and demand in the rental market will be increasingly pushed to its limit with rising demand outstripping supply.”
However, ARLA said it is good news that regulation in the industry will be tightening up in 2016.
The letting agent trade body said it hopes that the provisions of the Housing and Planning Bill – when brought into force – will give enforcing bodies and the courts more teeth in tackling rogue and criminal landlords and agents. This will develop in 2016 to enforce harsher penalties for landlords and unregulated agents that aren’t complying with basic laws.
“The Right to Rent checks introduced in the Immigration Act 2014 will be rolled out nationally from 1 February 2016 following a successful pilot scheme in the West Midlands,” said Cox, “However, we worry that the goodwill established towards the scheme may be tested by the increase in volume, disenfranchising landlords from the process.”