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Property licensing in 2024
Feb 14 2024

Property licensing in 2024

Navigating property licenses poses a significant challenge for letting agents and landlords. The realisation that one in four properties necessitates a license, coupled with the dynamic nature of the legal framework changing every eight days, adds considerable stress.

Managing these changes is an exhausting task for agents. There have been many instances of letting agencies facing penalties for violating property licenses with fines in London nearing £10 million.

Here are three crucial considerations for letting agents in 2024:

  1. Automated Processes to Minimise Human Error: The prospect of manually checking each property and cross-referencing it with local government websites is daunting. Manual checks are not only tiring and monotonous but also divert attention from core responsibilities, such as acquiring new landlords. Relying on a single person in the office increases the risk of oversight, especially with the emergence of new schemes in Nottingham, Birmingham, and Manchester. Delegating these tasks to individuals in 2024 may pose unnecessary risks.
  2. Stringency in Rent Payment Orders: The Renters (Reform) Bill brings about significant administrative changes, beyond the widely known abolition of Section 21 and the shift to a single system of periodic tenancies. Rent Repayment Orders (RROs) are also undergoing changes. RROs allow tenants or local authorities to take landlords to tribunal for at least seven offenses, resulting in repayment of up to 12 months’ rent. This duration is increasing to 24 months. Letting agents should be proactive in addressing this concern, supporting landlords in understanding and mitigating the challenges associated with property licensing.
  3. Persistent Property Licensing Challenges: The ambiguity surrounding who bears the brunt of fines complicates matters. Even if you collect rent for a property without being the managing agent, court decisions have shown that you may still be liable for fines. Letting agents must be as vigilant as landlords to avoid serious repercussions in 2024. Neglecting these concerns could lead to unnecessary trouble that could have easily been prevented.

The information in this post is valid to the best of our knowledge on the date of posting. It is advised that you seek independent advice based on your individual circumstances.

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