The outbreak of COVID-19 had a huge impact on the property industry. With people forced to stay home and many businesses closing, many tenants are struggling to pay rent. What’s more, keeping up-to-date with the current property regulations whilst adhering to COVID-19 restrictions is challenging to say the least.
With the vaccine roll out in full swing, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. But even so, it looks like we’ll still be spending a huge portion of this year fighting the pandemic.
Here’s 5 things every Buy-To-Let Landlord needs to know in 2021.
Mortgage interest tax relief is a sensitive subject for landlords, and we’re now coming to the sharp end of the changes that have been phased in over the last few years. When you file your 2019-20 tax return in January, you’ll be able to deduct 25% of your mortgage interest and get a 20% credit on the remaining 75%. But from your next tax return (due in January 2022 for the 2020-21 tax year), you’ll instead just get the 20% credit on all your mortgage interest. The rules can be complicated, but we’re here to help. Get in touch to find out how.
Currently, landlords need to check all tenants have the right to live in the UK before letting them move in to a property, but this could change in 2021. Landlords have been encouraged to use the current system of accepting passports and photo identification cards until 30 June, but it’s unclear how Right to Rent will work after this date.
Keep an eye out for further updates. Alternatively, let us handle this for you by investing in our Property Management services.
From 1 April, overseas buyers will need to pay a 2% stamp duty surcharge when they purchase properties in England and Northern Ireland. This is on top of the regular buy-to-let surcharge. The rules apply to all non-UK residents. To be classified as a UK resident, you’ll need to have spent at least 183 days (six months) in the UK in the year before or the year after you buy the property.
In late 2019, the government consulted on abolishing Section 21 – a clause which allows landlords to end ‘rolling’ tenancies with two months’ notice without giving a reason for doing so. More than a year on, Section 21 remains in place, with the Renters’ Reform Bill having been delayed for an indefinite period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s possible we could see some movement on the bill this year, so landlords will need to keep their eyes peeled. Other proposals featured on the bill include replacing security deposits with a ‘lifetime deposit’ that moves with the tenant, and making the rogue landlord database publicly available.
Temporary rules introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic mean landlords must now give longer notice periods when starting eviction proceedings against their tenants. England and Wales: landlords must give six months’ notice, except from in the most extreme circumstances, such as when a tenant is proven to have demonstrated anti-social behaviour, committed fraud, or as is at least six months in rent arrears. This rule will apply until at least 31st March. But, with the on-going lockdown restrictions, this could be extended.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re a Landlord. If keeping up with the rules and regulations has become a time-consuming chore for you, let us handle your workload for you. Get in touch today to find out more about our Property Management services.