Weekly landlord news digest: Issue 21

Keeping up to date with the latest industry news isn’t always easy for busy landlords. With this in mind, Hamilton Fraser’s weekly landlord news digest aims to provide landlords with the up to date news that matters to them!

In this week’s edition, we explore updates to the government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide that coincides with the Tenant Fees Act 2019, a digital tax invite for holiday let landlords and a new coalition set up to map out the future of Section 21. We also take a look at how landlords can sign up to receive universal credit alerts and how changes to principle residence relief could trigger higher capital gains tax bills.


Government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide updated to reflect the Tenant Fees Act 2019

The government has published an updated version of their ‘How to Rent’ guide to reflect changes brought about as a result of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 that came into force on 1 June.

Following the Deregulation Act 2015 landlords are obligated to provide their tenants with the most recent version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide at the start of tenancies that are new or have been renewed for a new fixed term after 1 October 2015.

The Housing Ministry issued the new guide on Friday, 31 May – on the eve of the ban coming into force. As well as updating the ‘How to Rent’ guide, the government also amended Form 6A in order to reflect the tenant fee ban, meaning that a landlord is unable to serve a Section 21 notice if they have taken a prohibited payment from a tenant and the payment has not been refunded in full.

Read more about the latest updates, including your obligations, in our latest ‘How to Rent’ update.

Download the new guides and Form 6A.

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Digital tax invite for holiday let landlords

Landlords are next in line to test the HM Revenue and Customs Making Tax Digital (MTD) project.

Short let landlords renting out furnished holiday homes are able to sign-up for the digital trial and file their business tax data online for the 2019-20 financial year.

Landlords invited to join the pilot must have MTD-compatible software to manage their income and expenses that reports direct to HMRC.

HMRC says the project aims to save money by cutting out mistakes on tax filings that cost the Treasury £9 billion a year.

“The improved accuracy that digital records provide, along with the help built into many software products and the fact that information is sent directly to HMRC from the digital records, avoiding transposition errors, will reduce the amount of tax lost to these avoidable errors,”

– A spokesman

Fair possessions coalition to map out the future post Section 21

A fair possessions coalition has been set up to map out the future of the industry post Section 21. The government announcement to abolish Section 21 has caused significant waves within the property industry and was announced as part of an ‘overhaul of the sector’.

Groups representing both landlords and letting agents have come together to form the coalition stating that plans to abolish Section 21 without provisions in place will “undermine investment in the sector”.

The coalition, including ARLA Propertymark, Landlord Action, the National Landlords Association and other landlord and letting agent groups are calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the regulations enabling landlords to repossess their properties, while also ensuring that these measures are unable to be exploited by unscrupulous landlord or rogue tenants.

Read more about the coalition, including the full participant list, here.