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One in Four Don’t Feel on Top of Changing Regulations

Landlord regulation

One in four landlords (24 per cent) don’t feel on top of changing regulations, according to new research by Direct Line business insurance.

Of those who said they didn’t feel on top of the regulatory landscape, 36 per cent say it is difficult to cope with the speed of change, 27 per cent wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to understanding regulations, while one in five (20 per cent) struggle to find the time to deal with it. A fifth (20 per cent) say they can’t afford the necessary legal advice and more than one in 10 (13 per cent) find it challenging to comprehend regulations and how exactly they are affected. 

The research also revealed a worrying lack of awareness of several important regulatory issues and trends: 

Levels of awareness of regulatory changes and trends among landlords – Direct Line business insurance, 2022  

Regulatory issue  


Proportion of landlords who are not aware of the issue  
Licensing scheme changes 


16 per cent  
The possibility of health and safety regulations  


15 per cent  
Additional sustainability standards to conform to   13 per cent  
New smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements  


12 per cent  
Changes to filing deadlines for reporting and paying capital gains tax on the disposal of properties  11 per cent  
Planned changes to minimum standards for Energy Performance Certificates  


10 per cent  
Inflation and the effect this could have on buy-to-let mortgages   7 per cent  


These issues are also having a psychological impact on landlords. Nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) say keeping on top of regulatory change is stressful. A third of stressed landlords (33 per cent) are considering selling their property because of it and a further 26 per cent are having to take time off work. One in five (22 per cent) have had sleepless nights, while the same proportion have experienced long-term mental health issues due to the stress.  

When asked what they would find most helpful in reducing stress levels, one in five (20 per cent) said employing a managing agent to oversee these issues on their behalf would help, while 19 per cent mentioned having knowledgeable friends and family members to assist when needed. One in six (16 per cent) would like regulatory updates emailed to them by a third party in newsletter format, while one in 10 (12 per cent) would like access to a legal documents service providing helpful guides, templates, tools, and tutorials. More than seven in 10 (73 per cent) would like more support from insurers specifically when it comes to understanding regulatory change.  

However, some landlords are taking proactive steps to monitor the regulatory landscape and are using a variety of methods to ensure they’re fully up to speed. Of those who feel on top of these issues (67 per cent), one in three (33 per cent) carry out their own research, 31 per cent pay a letting agent to help keep them up to date, 22 per cent read landlord trade publications and newsletters, and 18 per cent receive advice from a lawyer.  

Jamie Chaplin, landlord business manager, Direct Line business insurance: “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.  

He added: “However, there are many ways landlords can find advice and support. Direct Line landlord policies come with a Legal Advice Helpline which provides landlords with unlimited access to a team of legal advisors, who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round in England and Wales. The helpline offers confidential legal advice and access to a library of legal templates, tools and regulatory guides to help landlords stay compliant with changing laws and regulations.”