Everything Landlords Need to Know in 2021

Rental property owners in North West London and across the country face more changes in 2021. The first few months of 2021 saw the rental market getting back on its feet. However, the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect landlords and tenants. Additionally, there are changes to rental laws regarding Brexit and the Right to Rent.

If you are a North West London landlord, what are the essential things you must know about renting properties? This article explains key changes you can expect in 2021 so far...

1. Bailiff evictions to resume

The ban on evicting tenants looks set to resume from June 2021. Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, landlords couldn’t evict a tenant due to rent arrears. However, the coronavirus moratorium on evictions should end on 31 May 2021. Included in this is the requirement for landlords to give tenants six months’ notice before starting eviction proceedings.

In certain circumstances, landlords can still evict tenants until 31 May 2021.

2. Brexit and the Right to Rent

Landlords can expect changes in the Right to Rent policy now that the UK has left the European Union. It will be necessary to ensure that any foreign nationals, including EU citizens, meet the requirements of the new points-based immigration system.

As of April 2021, no official decision has been made on implementing the system. Therefore, until 30 June 2021, landlords can accept EU ID cards and passports under the Right to Rent scheme.

3. Extension of stamp duty holiday

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has extended the stamp duty holiday. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in March that the stamp duty holiday would extend until the end of June 2021. From July until the end of September, the rate will be £250,000. Then from 1 October 2021, the stamp duty rate returns to the usual level of £125,000.

3. Compliance with the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

From 1 April 2021, landlords must have an EICR for all existing rental properties. This requirement means that it’s necessary to have tenancies inspected and tested by a qualified electrician every five years. Tenants should receive a copy of the report.

4. The standard tenancy agreement includes pets

Changes to the standard tenant agreement from 28 January 2021 mean an end to a blanket ban on pets. Tenants will have the right to keep their furry friends in tenancies unless landlords object in writing. There are certain circumstances where landlords can legitimately object to pets in properties.

Under the Tenant Fees Act 2019, the total deposit, including the additional pet deposit, cannot exceed the cap.

5. Landlords can expect tax changes in 2021

There are two main areas where changes in tax laws will affect landlords.

First, during 2021, it is crucial to make the change to digital tax accounts. This is because from April 2022, HM Revenue and Customs must receive quarterly financial updates electronically.

Second, landlords with buy-to-let properties can no longer deduct mortgage interest costs from rental income to reduce tax bills. Although this change came into effect in 2020, landlords will begin to feel the impact in 2021.

6. Client money approved protection scheme

Letting agents must sign up for one of the government’s approved ‘client money approved protection schemes’. This requirement doesn’t affect landlords directly. But it ensures that landlords and tenants receive compensation if letting agents cannot repay their money.

At Regal Estates we are a member of the Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme (CMS).

Landlords in North West London

Looking to let our property in Willesden, Neasden, Dollis Hill or the surrounding North West London areas? At Regal Estates, we have 20 + years’ experience helping landlords successfully let their property. From the moment landlord’s choose Regal Estates, we are on hand to help them at every step of the lettings process answering any queries they may have including any queries about lettings legislation. Contact our expert lettings team today on 020 8459 2530 or email lettings@regalestate.co.uk.