For landlords in St Albans, 2021 will continue to see changes in the rental market. Rental property owners are hoping that this year will be less chaotic than last year. And with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine program, everyone hopes that 2021 will return some normality.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, keeping up with changes in the rental market is tricky. So, where are we now a few months into 2021? What do you need to know if you are a St Albans landlord?
Below we explain the key changes.
1. Ban on evictions continue until 31 May
The ban on evicting tenants during the pandemic has been extended until 31 May 2021. The eviction ban was due to expire at the start of the year. This law means that, until the end of May, landlords in St Albans and the rest of the country must give at least six months’ notice before starting eviction proceedings.
This ban on evictions doesn’t apply to anti-social behaviour, tenants with over six months’ rent arrears, or tenants in breach of immigration rules.
2. Stamp duty holiday extended
It was expected that the stamp duty holiday would end on 31 March 2021. In his spring budget statement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the tax break for buying a property would continue until the end of June. After 30 June, the starting rate will be £250,000. Then from October, it returns to the standard threshold of £125,000.
3. Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Landlords must know that the deadline for electrical compliance was 1 April 2021. From this date, you must have an Electrical Installation Condition Report for all existing tenancies. The laws for landlords state that you must renew the EICR every five years and provide a copy of the report to tenants.
4. Tax changes for landlords in 2021
In April 2021, landlords will start to feel the effect of the tax changes announced in April 2020. This is because mortgage tax relief was phased out, and there is now a 20 percent tax credit for mortgage interest.
5. Pets included in the new standard tenancy agreement
On 28 January 2021, the government announced that landlords cannot ban pets from rental properties under the new Model Tenancy Agreement. There are some exceptions to the general rule, for example, in small properties or flats. However, landlords must submit a written objection within 28 days of a tenant’s pet request.
6. Client money protection scheme
Estate and letting agents in St Albans must be part of a client money protection scheme by 1 April 2021. This England-wide legislation protects landlords’ and tenants’ money against theft or misappropriation.
7. Digital tax accounts
2021 should be a year when landlords across the country make the switch to digital tax accounts. From April 2022, you must send HM Revenue and Customs quarterly updates on income and expenses. If you are a landlord who hasn’t registered your rental property as a business and earn an income of more than £10,000 a year, you have until April 2023 to make the digital switchover.
8. Renters’ reform bill
The Renters’ Reform Bill will have a significant impact on landlords and tenants in England with measures to abolish section 21 rights for landlords and their agents being part of the proposal. However, due to the coronavirus impact, there is no news if the bill will make it through Parliament in 2021.
9. Impact of Brexit on the rental market
It is difficult to talk about changes in the UK rental market without mentioning Brexit. Landlords have the responsibility to check that a tenant has the Right to Rent. Until 30 June 2021, landlords can still accept passports and EU identity cards. However, it’s still unclear how the points-based immigration system will affect the Right to Rent rules.
If you’re a St Albans landlord looking to let out your property, get in touch with our expert lettings team today. From sourcing the best tenants to managing your property throughout the tenancy, our experienced team can help you let your property successfully, offering advice at every step of the process.