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Key changes to property and the dates you need to prepare for in 2018.

A list of the key property dates for 2018 to ensure you are prepared for upcoming developments to government schemes and property laws.

Whether you are a homeowner, tenant or looking to buy, keeping on top of all the property changes this year can be overwhelming. Winkworth has put together a list of the key property dates for 2018 to ensure you are prepared for upcoming developments to government schemes and property laws.

The Launch of the Help to Save Scheme:

Key dates: January 2018, April 2018, and October 2018

If you’re looking at breaking into the property market for the first time, the Government’s Help to Save initiative could come in handy for you. Trialled in January and due to be officially launched in October 2018, this initiative allows qualified savers to put away up to £50 pounds per month, and after two years be rewarded with up to £600 from the government. This means you can earn roughly up to half of your total savings capacity if you contribute the maximum amount each month. After completing your two-year saving initiative, you can either utilise the saving scheme for an additional two years or cash in.

The initiative was due to be launched in April 2018 but has been pushed back, so keep an eye out and prepare to save!

 

New energy efficiency rules for landlords

Key Dates: April 2018, April 2020

Landlords taking on new tenancies will be required as of April 2018 to prove their property meets the minimum energy-efficiency rating of E by providing an Energy Performance Certificate. These same rules will apply to existing tenancies from April 2020. Estimates from the Telegraph warn that more than 400,000 properties in England and Wales could become unrentable, as they will not be able to meet these new requirements. It is important that if you are a Landlord, you begin to act now in order to avoid costly fees of up to £4,000 for non-compliance.

 

Changes to how lifetime ISA bonus is paid

Key Dates: April 2018

The Individual Savings account (ISA) is an essential savings tool, especially for those looking to buy their first home. These government initiative accounts allow you to earn an additional £1,000 tax-free bonus, outside of your individual maximum savings of £4,000. The money can be used to buy your first home if its worth up to £450,000. If you already have a Lifetime ISA or are planning to open one, it is important to note that from April, the ISA bonus payments will switch from annually to monthly.

 

Ban on letting agency fees charged to tenants

Key dates: November 2017, to be confirmed

A new draft bill to ban letting agency fees was introduced in Parliament in November 2017 and will be actioned in 2018, so keep an eye out. The initiative hopes to make renting more transparent for tenants by providing a clear guide as to the overall property price from the outset, without secret additional costs. The initiative also plans to cap security deposits at six weeks rent and set up a compulsory Ombudsman Redress Scheme, which all landlords will be required to join. Preparing adjustments for this is essential to avoid fees of up to £5,000. Charging lettings fees as a landlord is set to become a criminal offence in 2018.

 

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