The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) described the 2015 Budget as “a nightmare” after reading new subletting rules.
The Budget, announced by Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday, outlined plans to make it illegal for private sector tenancy agreements to include clauses that prevent the sub-letting of the property.
On page 51 of the Budget Red Book under the title “support for the sharing economy”, the budget small print said the government will: “make it easier for individuals to sub-let a room through its intention to legislate to prevent the use of clauses in private fixed-term residential tenancy agreements that expressly rule out sub-letting or otherwise sharing space on a short-term basis, and consider extending this prohibition to statutory periodic tenancies.”
RLA chairman Alan Ward said: “The measures on sub-letting are a nightmare in the making and smack of ‘back of the fag packet’ policy making.
“Key questions remained unanswered such as who will be responsible for a property if the tenant sub-letting leaves the house but the tenant they are sub-letting to stays?
“Similarly, given the Government wants landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants, who would be responsible for checking the status where sub-letting occurs?
“Whilst the RLA awaits further detail on this measure, it is difficult to see landlords supporting it.”
The RLA was also disappointed about the Chancellor’s failure to extend the Landlord’s Energy Savings Allowance which is due to end next month. The allowance has played a key role in supporting landlords to invest in improving the energy efficiency of their properties.
The failure to continue the allowance means improvements will now only be financed on the back of tenants through their energy bills as contained within the Green Deal.
“Ministers have talked the talk on improving the energy efficiency of the nation’s rented housing stock but today they have pulled the rug from under the feet of landlords and tenants,” said Ward.