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Landlords can’t keep up with law and tax changes


By Simon Thompson
 
     
Landlords want to save money and stay within the law but are finding keeping up with fast-changing rules and regulations is hard work.

Around 8 out of 10 landlords need more information to run their finances and businesses, according to research by Paragon Mortgages.

Almost half (46%) confessed they were struggling to keep up with changes in the law

The way housing benefit will be paid due to the government’s welfare overhaul is a real concern for another 43%

Only 10% of landlords feel that recent tax and law changes will not make running a property letting business more difficult in the coming year.

Their main concerns include:
• The impact of additional licensing imposed by local authorities (54%)
• Paying capital gains tax (53%)
• Paying council tax when letting properties do not have tenants (49%)

"It's interesting to note that although many landlords we spoke to were greatly experienced, there is still a need for information, help and advice. New regulations affect professional landlords just as much as they do those who are relative newcomers to the market,” said a Paragon spokesman.

"Customers, experienced or otherwise, should do their homework before they commit to buy a rental property - research the market, the area and also their obligations as landlords.

"Buy-to-let isn't a short-term investment - many of our customers have been landlords for more than two decades, and see their portfolios as an alternative to a pension when they retire.”

Meanwhile, with new laws pushing landlords and letting agents to a more regulated environment, the National Landlords Association (NLA) has announced that all members will be formally accredited by 2020.

The NLA wants all members to complete a foundation course and keep their knowledge up-to-date with refresher courses.

The NLA has around 6,000 members paying subscriptions of about £99 a year out of an estimated total of 1.4 million landlords in the UK.

Carolyn Uphill, the NLA’s deputy chairman, said: “NLA membership should be synonymous with landlord professionalism and accreditation is a significant factor in helping us achieve this. To have all our members accredited is an ambitious target but realistic in the lead time provided.

“By demonstrating a level of competence represented by accreditation, members will be able to set themselves apart through evidence of their commitment to quality and standards.”
 
 
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