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What Landlords Need to Know For The Upcoming Year
With the festivities now well and truly over, it’s time to get back to business and get all your property-related affairs in order. Sticking to personal resolutions might be hard but we reckon that many of the below suggestions will be too good to ignore when it comes to property. Read on to find out advice and some important dates to a keep a note of for 2019.
Did you know that there are about 160 pieces of legislation relevant to the rental market? That’s quite a lot to keep on top of and you may wish to seek legal guidance from a specialist lawyer to best understand them. The responsibilities of a landlord are far-reaching and, whilst difficult, it’s imperative for a landlord to know the full list of things this extends to. Gutter clearance may sound like something for tenants to deal with but, legally, it is for the care of a landlord. Getting familiar with small things like that will help to avoid uncomfortable negotiations and costly legal claims. It’s not all doom and gloom, legal knowledge also comes in handy in relation to most recent schemes which often offer discounts and financial relief for rental properties.
The first important date to mark on your calendar is January 31st – the tax self-assessment deadline by which you must pay what you owe. What the government considers allowable expenses grows and changes constantly so it’s worth checking again to see if you can reduce your tax bill further; look out for repair costs, service charge and even agent fees – all are considered reasonable, and therefore allowable, expenses.
Landlords should always aim to have a comprehensive and specialised landlord insurance policy in place, as it is never possible to predict what may go wrong. There are numerous reputable firms out there like Hamilton Fraser, who offer policies depending on your needs. Familiarise yourself with renewal dates and, better yet, create alerts to ensure that your policy doesn’t lapse – you need coverage without gaps. If you don’t yet have a policy in place then consider taking one out for the new year, it provides protections from lost income and a whole host of other troubles landlords are likely to face, giving you priceless peace of mind.
Following on from the last point, if you don’t have landlord insurance in place then you need to have a separate fund with some emergency cash. How large a sum to keep is up to you, consider whether you would be able to cover the cost of an emergency like a burst pipe or damage to the property. One idea to consider is have a small percentage of the rent total going to an emergency fund monthly, providing you with peace of mind and the ability to cover any unforeseen costs should they arise.