Elevate your property management game in 2024 with our breakdown of the key dates landlords can’t afford to miss.
With the Renters (Reform) Bill making progress in its journey towards becoming law and additional legislation for holiday lets being introduced, landlords can anticipate several changes in 2024.
We understand it can be difficult to keep up to date with the ever-evolving legal landscape in your effort to remain compliant. However, there’s no need to worry.
Just as in previous years, we’ve compiled a detailed list containing all the key dates and upcoming changes for you to keep an eye on throughout the year.
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Your landlord calendar for 2024:
16th January – The Leasehold and Freehold (Reform) Bill enters the committee stage
The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill aims to make it cheaper and easier for existing leaseholders in houses and flats to extend their lease or buy their freehold.
22nd January – Increase in fines for Right to Rent non-compliance
Agents and landlords who knowingly rent properties to unauthorised migrants will face penalties of up to £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier for a first breach. Repeat breaches could cost them up to £10,000 per lodger and a maximum of £20,000 per occupier.
31st January – Self-assessment tax return deadline
Landlords who have to file self-assessment tax returns must do so by Wednesday, 31 January 2024. Learn more about the costs you can offset against taxes in our informative blog post here.
End of January (est.) – The Renters (Reform) Bill enters the report stage
In this stage, MPs can suggest additional amendments or changes, including those related to housing policy and renters’ rights. The third reading should also follow shortly after, with the Bill then sent to the House of Lords for further consideration.
13th February – New Right to Rent code of practice and penalty hikes come into force
This order will establish how penalties for landlords who don’t comply with ‘right to rent’ laws will be determined. It will set out what factors will be taken into account when deciding the penalty amount under sections 23 and 25 of the Immigration Act 2014. Also, the maximum penalty amount is going up from £3,000 to £20,000.
1st March – Scotland: Deadline for improving the quality of private rented homes under the Repairing Standard
All privately rented properties will be required to have central heating, a kitchen with adequate space and facilities to prepare and store food, and common areas that are safe to use and properly maintained. Properties will also need a circuit breaker device that reduces the risk of electrocution and fire. Existing requirements for safe gas and electrical systems will be extended to other types of fuel.
6th March – Spring Budget
The Spring Budget is expected to address several key issues. Among them is potential help for first-time buyers, aimed at countering escalating house prices and possibly reviving a version of the Help to Buy scheme.
31st March – Scotland: End of the 3% cap on annual rent increases and eviction pause
After this date, unless there are further extensions or changes, the measures to protect tenants through the cost of living crisis, including the 3% rent cap and additional eviction protections, will no longer be in place.
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6th April – Capital gains and dividends allowances cut
The tax-free allowance for capital gains will be lowered once again, dropping from £6,000 to £3,000. This adjustment follows a significant drop from £12,300 in 2023 as part of a substantial tax policy change. Additionally, the dividend tax threshold will also see a reduction from £1,000 to £500 starting from the same date.
6th April – Tax boost for self-employed landlords
Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) for the self-employed are set to be abolished, while the rate of class 4 NICs will drop from 9% to 8% in April. Both these reforms aim to save around two million self-employed workers an average of £350 a year.
8th April – National minimum wage and state benefits to rise for tenants
Tenants in England and Wales will see a 6.7% increase in benefits, along with the minimum wage rising to £11.44 per hour for those aged 21 and over. Moreover, the Local Housing Allowance will be increased to cover the lowest 30% of local rents.
May – The general election could take place
The announcement of tax cuts in the Autumn Statement 2023 has fueled speculation that the Conservative Party might be gearing up for an election in the first half of 2024. If an election occurs, landlords should expect shifts in policies related to the housing market, taxation, and regulations impacting the rental sector.
31st July – Second payment on account deadline
The second and final payment on account for the 2023-2024 tax year will have to be paid by self-employed landlords by the end of July.
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5 October – Deadline to register for self-assessment
If you’re a new landlord renting out a property or have recently become self-employed, ensure you register by this date to fulfil your tax obligations.
November – Autumn Statement
The Chancellor will use the Autumn Statement – which is effectively a mini-Budget – to outline upcoming policy changes. Last year, it was delivered on 22 November, with Jeremy Hunt addressing the pressing calls for changes to stamp duty and capital gains tax.
17 December – The last possible day to call the general election
This is exactly five years since the last parliament first met after the last election, and by law, this is the latest date for calling the election. If it’s left until the very last moment, the actual election would happen on 28 January 2025.
More changes you need to know about
Apart from popular topics like the Renters (Reform) Bill and the general election, here are some other things you should keep an eye on in the following months:
- Mortgage costs – Mortgage lenders have kicked off the year by reducing rates, easing the financial burden for homeowners looking for a new deal.
- Short-term lets – Additional regulations for holiday lets are on the horizon, as restrictions on them continue to tighten across the UK.
- Landlord licensing – More selective licensing schemes for landlords were introduced in 2023, and there are discussions for new schemes in 2024. These decisions will be made at the local authority level, so we strongly recommend that you check the licensing regulations in your area.
- More details on property listings – New rules from Trading Standards will require landlords in England to include more information in property listings, covering things like physical features, utilities, flood risk, and planning permission. You can rely on OpenRent’s online listing form to request all the essential details required for all types of property.
- Energy reforms – Plans to increase the minimum energy efficiency standard for rental properties in England and Wales have been scrapped for now. However, it seems likely that energy efficiency in rental homes will remain a big talking point throughout the year.