With rising rents and the extension of the stamp duty holiday, 2021 turned out to be one of the busiest years for the housing market. Whether this continues to be the case in 2022 remains to seen. Either way; change is most certainly on the horizon. Whatever stage of the property journey you are on, whether you are a landlord, developer or home renovator; it’s vital now that you are fully aware of anticipated changes and the things to watch out for this year…
Capital Gains Tax
Good news on the tax front. As a landlord, you will now have 60 days to pay your capital gains tax for residential property transactions, which will help mitigate the risk of late payments. This is double the previous period of 30 days.
The potential downside to this, however, is that for any landlord who has, for whatever reason missed any rule changes that have taken place over the recent years, HMRC crackdowns are likely to become more prevalent.
That’s according, at least, to Tim Walford-Fitzgerald, partner at UK accountancy firm HW Fisher, who recently raised the following points:
“HMRC may get more aggressive with landlords who have missed some of the changes in rules in recent years. Now that the residential mortgage relief restriction is in full force, we expect less tolerance for misreporting, especially in light of the losses that some landlords may have from recent defaults.”
“Capital gains tax for residential property transactions can now be paid within 60 days, following calls for the 30-day payment period to be doubled due to unsuspected homebuyers being hit with fines. We expect the recent extension of the disposal reporting deadline to result in greater enforcement against those who have failed to meet their reporting obligations”.
The Government’s Levelling Up White Paper Proposals: The Abolition of Section 21
One of the most long-awaited changes for landlords of course is the abolition of section 21, which will be part of the Renter’s Reform Bill – of which another White Paper is expected this spring. What it will mean for you as a landlord is that you will no longer be able to evict your tenant at short notice ‘without good reason’. Whilst this might be good news for some renters, it undoubtably represents the end of a safety-net for landlords, who historically have depended on section 21 evictions in instances whereby they’ve needed to move back into their property or sell it. It is also unclear yet whether the grounds under section 8 will be relaxed.
Energy Efficiency Rules
Gove’s proposals include new minimum standards for private rentals – and include costly and compulsory upgrades. With an estimated 800,000 properties not currently meeting the requirements to be “safe, warm, and in a good state of repair”, the new legislation will be especially costly for landlords with older properties (with improvements costing up to £15,000). Poor energy efficiency will apparently be tackled with targeted funding for the worst-performing homes and “those least able to pay”.
A national landlord register was mentioned within the proposals (but with no clear plan in place); along with more fines and bans for rogue landlords.
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