2018 was a big year for the industry and it brought with it many complicated changes and advancements that heightened the value of intermediaries. Our Products Development Manager, Nathan Reilly, takes a look at the main changes from over the past 12 months.
Retirement Interest Only
In March Retirement Interest Only mortgages were reclassified. Having previously been classed as a form of equity release, advisers once needed the appropriate qualification to advise on the product. They have since been redefined by the FCA and RIO mortgages, in their simplest form, are retirement interest only mortgages that don’t have a fixed repayment date.
Members of our Network and Club received a dedicated later life lending edition of our Insight magazine in September to keep them up to speed with the changes and we also hosted specialist RIO webinars and covered the changes in more detail at our MI Live roadshows. Moving into next year we’re looking to host a dedicated later life lending workshop too!
The start of April saw changes to the private rental sector. Rental properties, since the change, must have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of an E. The change applies to new lets and renewals meaning existing tenancies have until April 1st 2020.
This meant that landlords could no longer rent out properties with a rating of F or G and if required energy improvements should be carried out. These improvements range from simple things like swapping light bulbs for energy efficient ones to potentially more complex and costly issues like insulating wall cavities or roofing and updating a boiler system.
A big change, that still remains relevant today, are the changes that were enforced as part of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. The changes overhauled how businesses process and handle data and GDPR became the new framework for data protection laws.
The mortgage industry has felt the full impact of GDPR too, from lenders to brokers, everyone has been affected. GDPR is here to stay so it is important you continue to think about the data you hold, the way it is stored and what you may need to change within your business.
Like almost every other industry, the mortgage industry has seen changes in technology over the past 12 months.
From APIs seamlessly connecting the intermediary and lender – saving time by removing the rekeying of information, to chat bots supporting customers through the mortgage application process, there have been a whole host of advancements in 2018. We covered many of the changes for you in the October edition of Insight Magazine, we gave you an overview of some of the technology out there and talked about how it’ll impact you.
We believe that technology has an important part of play in the future of the mortgage industry and we are continuously looking at how tech can improve the services we offer and how it can benefit our brokers.
One of the largest changes we saw towards the end of the year was the changes to Houses of Multiple Occupation regulations. The main changes meant that houses with five or more people from two or more households must now be licensed as an HMO, properties with any number of storeys can now be an HMO, houses now have a minimum room size for bedrooms and they must have an appropriate place to store rubbish.
“As an ambitious network, we are always looking to expand propositions and introduce new products and services that will benefit our brokers”