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    28th February 2022

    Direct Line Reports 24% of Surveyed Landlords Are Not ‘On Top Of’ Changing Regulations

    In what must be seen as an indictment of Government communication on changing regulations, a recent report from Direct Line business insurance has found that almost one in four respondents were not up-to-date with changing regulations.

    The study, which also found that 36% of those landlords struggling were finding it tough due to the pace of change, shows how necessary it is for the UK Government to improve how they communicate changes to an industry that serves a vital role in the UK.

    What the study found

    While the headline figures of the recent press release are concerning enough, the study reveals a rapidly changing regulatory landscape that is leaving some landlords behind, but also causing undue stress. 58% of respondents to the Direct Line survey revealed that keeping on top of regulatory changes while a third of those are considering selling their properties as a result.

    Overall, the study found the following figures when asking about upcoming regulatory issues:

    Regulatory issueProportion of landlords who are not aware of the issue
    Licensing scheme changes16%
    The possibility of health and safety regulations15%
    Additional sustainability standards to conform to13%
    New smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements12%
    Changes to filing deadlines for reporting and paying capital gains tax on the disposal of properties11%
    Planned changes to minimum standards for Energy Performance Certificates10%
    Inflation and the effect this could have on buy-to-let mortgages7%

    At a time when the private landlord sector is performing an invaluable service due to a failure by successive governments to meet promises on house building, it is concerning to see so many individuals potentially facing unpleasant surprises as the coming 12 months to 2 years hold numerous changes.

    Landlord Business Manager of Direct Line Business Insurance, Jamie Chaplin said the following:

    Landlords are faced with a range of challenging regulatory changes and issues and our research suggests this is causing them a range of problems. In some cases, this is causing stress and anxiety, which is leading many to consider selling their properties. 

    What this means for Wirral landlords

    There are, according to the HMRC, more than 2.5 Mn landlords in the UK – this means that, if Direct Line’s data is to be believed, there could be upwards of 600,000 landlords currently at risk of facing fines or civil claims simply because they have not been able to keep up to date with changing legislation. By the law of averages, some of those will reside or own properties in Wirral – and that is a serious cause for concern.

    While, clearly, it’s in our interest to recommend working with an agent to ensure that your properties are all being let in accordance with the latest regulations and legislation, it is difficult to see how the traditional part-time landlord will be able to continue to operate if the pace of change continues.

    For landlords who are simply using properties to prepare a nest egg for retirement – most of whom will work a primary job – the burden seems to be increasing all the time and the questions will surely need to be asked soon: is this investment worth the time it takes me to remain legal? Should I work with an agent, or look to invest my money elsewhere?

    This, to us, is a real shame – we work with some fantastic landlords, and regularly hear stories about the growing pressure they faced before working with us. We can only hope that communication improves soon and allows landlords to do as the majority have always done – supply great properties for people that need them.

    If you’re worried about the pace of change and the number of changes on the way, why not speak to one of our experts? Contact Us to see what we can do to help relieve some of the pressure of managing your property portfolio.

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