Managing your rental properties in the New Year

With 2020 fast approaching, it is time to make sure you are on top of all your rental property management. Here we have some advice that you should follow to make sure your year gets off to a good start.

Get your tax organised

The year’s first deadline is 31 January 2020, the date by which landlords must be registered for self-assessment and pay the tax they owe. With landlords firmly in the sights of HMRC, the last thing any landlord wants is to miss this deadline and find themselves penalised.

Make sure you are up to speed with new legislation

Legal changes affecting landlords are also expected to continue into 2020. One piece of legislation that has already been announced involves new rules around Energy Performance Certificates. From April 2020, rental properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E. Anything lower will render the property non compliant and should not be let out, including existing tenancies.

Plan the next year’s maintenance and improvement

By regularly redecorating and sprucing up your property every couple of years, you will hopefully avoid a far bigger renovation which will incur an unwelcome void period. Tenants expect high standards of accommodation now and tired properties mean longer empty periods and lower rents. So the new year is the perfect time for a fresh coat of paint and to fix any outstanding issues.

A political change

The big event for many next year is Brexit, but with the Conservative majority providing some consistency, it should have a positive benefit for the housing market with some housing commentators have suggested that house prices could rise as much as two per cent in 2020. The Conservatives have said they plan to introduce a number of changes affecting landlords, including abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions. Otherwise known as the ‘Section 21’ ban, it means landlords will have to give a concrete and evidenced reason already specified in law for bringing tenancies to an end. However, there’s still Brexit ahead, scheduled for the end of January next year, and some decisions on housing may be delayed until then so make sure you stay up to date with any new government plans.