Property Law Updates You Need To Know 2021
Posted on 21st May 2021
Our local property solicitors run through upcoming changes to UK property law, and how they might affect you.
Throughout 2021, there have been, and are set to be, a number of important changes to UK property law that will affect millions of people. This is the case every year, but with the recent disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, 2021 seems to bring with it more change than normal in the world of property law. In this post, our local property solicitors will run through the planned changes, when they are set to take place, and what they could mean for you.
Changes to Right to Rent
The responsibility of checking and ensuring that a lodger or tenant is legally able to rent a residential property always falls upon the landlord under England and Wales law. This is done through a newly instated points-based system that came into effect on January 1st. However, the government has made the implementation easier by saying that they will still accept national identification cards and passports as a proof of right to live until June 30th.
From this point onwards, it is thought that further guidance will be released on how to correctly perform Right to Rent checks for EEA nationals under the new regulations. It is thought that this guidance will more closely follow and utilise the new point based system that has been introduced.
Deadline for electrical compliance
As well as properly checking tenants' right to rent, it is also the job of the landlord to checl and maintain the safety of all of the electrical equipemnt in your rented property. To make this process more standardises, from April 1st this now consists of ensuring that an electrical safety compliance certificate is created for any property that is to be rented. Essentially, this certificate will act as proof that you have taked the necessary steps and had all electrical appliances in the property safety checked by a qualified professional. The certificate is required to be provided to the tenants within 28 days of when the checks are completed, and must also be available for local authorities on request.
This is an important change, and one that should not be ignored. It is not simply enough to assume that electrical appliances are safe because they are good-quality or newly purchased; the official checks still need to take place, and it is best to get them done sooner rather than later.
Reform of leasehold laws
As it stands, those who hold a lease for a house property are only able to extend their lease once for 50 years with a ground rent. However, leaseholders for flat properties are able to extend their lease as many times as they wish, without paying any ground rent, for 90 years.
These discrepancies are set to change. Earlier this year, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced plans for legislation that would mean all leaseholders could extend their leases to 990 years without paying any ground rent. This is landmark legislation, and would saving many leaseholders who wish to extend their leases thousands of pounds.
The new proposals would create additional changes, including:
1. the introduction of a cap on the ground rent paid when a leaseholder becomes a freeholder/extends their lease
2. a free, easy-to-use online calculator will be availalable for leaseholders to easily work out the cost of purchasing their freehold/extending their lease
3. in order to protect the elderly, ground rents will be reduced to zero for all retirement properties
4. leaseholder will be able to agree to restrictions of future developments of their property to avoid paying further development value
How can MG Legal help with my Property Law needs?
Here at MG Legal we have an amazing team of property solicitors who specialise in all aspects of property law. This includes the buying and selling of commercial and residential properties, remortgaging, property leases, and the transfer of equity.
Our friendly team take the time to talk clients through these processes step-by-step in an easy to understand way.
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If it’s outside of Office hours, contact our team via email to email@example.com and a member of our expert team will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your enquiry.
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