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Key Dates in 2021 for Landlords

With the Government confirming that tenants are allowed to move home during the third UK lockdown, Letting agents can continue to operate under guidelines and property viewings can take place, Landlords can be somewhat happy.

With this in mind, there are still some key points that all landlords need to be aware of for the year 2021.

I have highlighted some of these rules and dates below:

2021: Key Dates For Landlords

1. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

At present, the stamp duty holiday will come to an end on 31st March 2021. In July 2020, the property value threshold above which the Residential Rates of SDLT are paid on properties in England and Northern Ireland was temporarily raised to £500,000. This means many house buyers paid no tax at all.

Those buying additional properties (e.g. buy-to-let or second home properties) still have to pay the 3% additional rate, however.

These temporary changes are set to end on 31st March, unless the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, decides to extend it.

2. Electrical Safety Checks Become Mandatory

Landlords are required to have an EICR performed for all their properties in England by 1st April 2021. Landlords must then serve the tenants a copy of the report within 28 days. If necessary remedial work is identified in the report, then it must be performed.

This applies for ongoing tenancies, not just new tenancies, so all landlords must comply. If you have not ordered an EICR yet, you can order one via Gracechurch Property.

3. Temporary Eviction Restrictions End

As it stands, when March ends, so too will end the temporary requirement for landlords to give tenants in England six months’ notice before commencing eviction proceedings. This is three times the usual two months’ notice for monthly tenancies.

Meanwhile, the ban on evictions (i.e. the ban on bailiffs legally repossessing properties on behalf of landlords) was due to end on 11th January but has been extended another six weeks, to 21st February.

The UK Government has pledged to end ‘no fault’ evictions and the end of the coronavirus measures on 31st March could prompt the Government to review this manifesto pledge.

4. Furlough Scheme Ends

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, also known as the furlough scheme, is due to wrap up at the end of April. The scheme has allowed employers to furlough employees, with the state paying 80% of their usual remuneration up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

This is an important date for landlords whose tenants have been affected by coronavirus. If they have been placed on the furlough scheme, then their income may cease on 31st March, meaning they may have difficulty paying their rent from this date.

Landlords are advised to be in touch with tenants far ahead of time to find out if their tenants will be affected and agree suitable arrangements if needed.

If you require any further updates on your rental portfolio, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the office or via email using tom@gracechurch-property.co.uk .

Until next time
Thomas

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