2020 produced unprecedented uncertainty for landlords as the eviction process was turned on its head and Brexit finally became reality, altering the game when it comes to property investment. Trying to keep up with recent developments, as well as their effect on landlords going forward, has become a full-time job. We’re here to try and bring at least a little clarity to the situation. So here are 5 things current and aspiring landlords need to know in 2021.
- Covid and evictions – In England, Wales and Scotland you (the landlord) must give 6 months’ notice in all but extreme circumstances. (In Scotland for instance you need only give 28 days’ notice if the tenant has engaged in “anti-social” behaviour.) However, in Northern Ireland, you need only give 12 weeks’ notice.
- Mortgage payment holidays end soon – The government granted landlords having trouble making their mortgage payments the right to apply for a mortgage holiday of up to 6 months. The ability to apply for one of these mortgage payment holidays is set to expire on March 31.
- Stamp duty holiday – Current breaks being offered by England, Northern Ireland and Scotland on the stamp duty is also set to expire March 31st, so buyers be aware. Until then you pay only a flat 3% rate on purchases up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, it’s a flat 4% on purchases up to £250,000. There is no Stamp Duty holiday in Wales.
- Possible changes to Right to Rent – As things currently stand landlords are required to check all potential tenants to ensure they have a right to live in the UK. However, come June 30 the current situation is set to end and no one is really sure what will happen after that.
- New client money protection rules – Landlords who use a management company to let their properties need to be aware of new client money protection rules that come into effect on April 1. Their agents must sign onto one of 6 government-approved money handling schemes. Failure to do so can result in fines of up to £30,000.