Key dates for residential landlords in 2021
As your trusted independent Sittingbourne letting agent, we thought it would be helpful at Quealy & Co to outline some important dates for landlords in the year ahead.
While every year brings with it changes to taxation and legislation, 2021 is likely to bring more change than usual. No matter what the future brings, our list of key dates for 2021 will help you stay one step ahead as a residential landlord.
1 January : Brexit
Brexit will bring legislative changes for UK landlords, some of which are likely to be welcomed. For example, the end of the EU Mortgage Credit Directive, which could make it easier and cheaper for you to get a mortgage as a landlord. However, Brexit will also certainly have an impact on the housing market, and the economy as a whole. What will happen to interest rates for example? We will have to wait and see…
27 January : National Landlord investment show
After a break in 2020 (for obvious reasons) the UK’s number one landlord and property investment exhibition is back at the end of January. The event has gone virtual and offers everything from seminars with industry experts to networking opportunities, as well as high quality content in areas such as mortgage and finance, investment, and tax.
29 January : Second reading of the Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill
For landlords, the new year starts with the second reading of a proposed new law which would allow tenants to have a pet without their landlord’s approval. The Dogs and Domestic Animals Bill has been put forward by MP, Andrew Rosindell, and is being supported by many animal welfare charities including the RSPCA.
If passed, this would mean as long as renters can prove they are responsible owners they have an assumed right to take a pet into any rented accommodation.
31 January : Online tax return deadline
You’d be surprised how many people miss the deadline for their online tax return! So here is a friendly reminder for our landlords.
6 March : Changes to eviction legislation
Due to the pandemic, landlords are currently legally obliged to give tenants six months’ warning for all evictions. While there are caveats for certain circumstances – domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour, and more than six months’ worth of rent arrears – this law has made evictions much more difficult. The good news for landlords is that this rule is set to end in March 2021.
1 April: Stamp duty changes
From 1 April all non-UK residents purchasing property in this country will be liable to pay an additional two per cent stamp duty surcharge. However, if you pay the stamp duty surcharge and then go on to become a UK resident within 12 months, you may be eligible for a refund.
1 April : Client money protection
The deadline for letting agents to comply with client money protection legislation has been pushed back twice over the past few years. However, with a firm deadline set for 2021, all agents will have to be compliant by 1 April.
1 April: Deadline for electrical compliance
If you’re a landlord, you should have an electrical safety compliance certificate for every property you own. The certificate proves that fixed electrical installations have been safety tested by a qualified electrician, ensuring the safety of your tenants. If you haven’t got one, the deadline is looming. Anyone without a certificate after 1 April will be breaking the law.
30 June : Changes to Right to Rent
Currently, UK landlords must check all tenants’ immigration status to find out whether they can legally rent their property. This applies to all tenants, irrespective of ethnicity or nationality.
With Brexit bringing in a points-based system from 1 January, landlords have been told to continue using passports and national ID cards as an interim measure until 30 June. What happens then? We will have to wait and see…
No fixed date: Changes to planning regulations
In a bid to stop developers from building homes without enough space or natural lighting, the Government is planning new legislation for minimum space and light requirements.
The proposed law will target developers using PDR (permitted developers rights), a fast tracking process which currently allows developers to transform buildings into homes without applying for full planning permission.
No fixed date: Deadline for landlords to implement MTD
If you’re a landlord with a turnover of more than £85,000, you should be using MTD (making tax digital). The system requires you, the landlord, to send HMRC quarterly updates of income and expenses via your digital tax account. This works out your tax as you go, so at the end of the year, rather than completing a tax return, you simply sign a declaration to say the numbers are accurate.
If you’re not using MTD but should be, the deadline is set for some time in 2021 – with an additional deadline of 2022 for all businesses to sign up, irrespective of turnover.
No fixed date: Abolition of Section 21
It looks like 2021 may be the year of the abolition of Section 21. Currently, Section 21 allows landlords to evict tenants with a notice period of six months either after a fixed-term tenancy ends, or during a tenancy with no fixed end date.
Part of the Government’s planned Renters’ Reform Bill, the abolition of Section 21 would essentially mean that all evictions would need to go through the courts.
No fixed date: Potential increase in capital gains tax
While there’s been widespread speculation that there would be an increase in capital gains tax (CGT) this year, Rishi Sunak made no mention of it in the November mini-budget. However, he did say that tax increases in 2021 were now ‘inescapable’, leading many to believe that the predicted rise in CGT isn’t off the cards.
Helping landlords throughout 2021
So there you have it, our key dates for residential landlords in 2021. This list was correct at the time of publishing but things may change so please do sign up to our mailing list or keep checking our handy blog to make sure you have the information you need as a landlord.
If you have any questions, our friendly lettings team are here to guide you. Get in touch on 01795 429836 or email us at email@example.com
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