Changes for House Buyers and Landlords
Changes for House Buyers and Landlords
We’re midway through what’s been one of the busiest, craziest years in property sales and lettings! As we look ahead to the next six months, we share some must-know changes for house buyers and landlords. Find out more here…
Extending the time to sue for poor construction work
The government announced on 5 July, the introduction of the Building Safety Bill. In it is an extension to the time limit for homeowners looking to seek compensation for substandard construction work. It will be extended from the current six years to fifteen years. And this will apply retrospectively.
For example, if your property was completed in 2015, you will still be able to start proceedings against the developer, fifteen years later. So, in this case, you could start action in 2030.
There’s something else which features in the bill, which those looking to buy new-build homes should be aware of. You will be pleased to know that housebuilders and housing developers will be required to join the New Homes Ombudsman Scheme. This will allow new-build home buyers a fair chance for redress should they have issues with building quality, including compensation where necessary for poor workmanship.
Stamp Duty Holiday rules are changing
The phasing out of the Stamp Duty holiday began on 1 July. Yes, the rules have changed since the cuts were introduced in June last year.
While house buyers have enjoyed a year of not having to pay any stamp duty on the first £500,000 of their property purchase, the threshold has now been reduced. For anyone looking to buy a home and make savings on stamp duty land tax, stamp duty now kicks in above £250,000 of the property purchase price.
From the 1 October, we can expect stamp duty to go back to its normal rate. This means the point at which anyone buying a home pays stamp duty, will go back to £125,001.
Of course, for first-time buyers it is a slightly different process. For anyone buying a home for the very first time, from July, there will be no stamp duty on property purchases up to £300,000.
Landlord Right to Rent Checks
Landlords ought to be aware of the new Right to Rent Checks, which came into force from 1 July. They require anyone with tenants or lodgers to check they are legally allowed to rent any residential property in England. The checks require EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens to prove their rights in the UK, including their right to rent.
It’s easy to complete the checks, via the Home Office Checking Services, or with a physical immigration document. The online method is the most effective method to complete the checks, being simple, secure, and free to use. If you do not carry out any right to rent checks and end up renting your property to someone who does not have the right to rent, you could face a civil penalty.
The government is clear on the fact there is no formal need to deliver the checks retrospectively. You don’t need to carry out a check if an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen entered into a tenancy agreement up to and including 30 June. However, if you choose to do any retrospective checks, they must be done in a non-discriminatory manner.
More Buy-to-Let Mortgage deals available
The number of buy-to-let (BTL) mortgage deals are at the highest level since March 2020. With 2,709 deals being available at the beginning of July, according to research from Moneyfacts.co.uk, it’s the highest level of product choice for over a year. Back in March 2020 there were 2,897 deals, which of course then curtailed when the pandemic hit.
Based on the new figures, there are 365 more deals available than in July 2019. This shows how resilient the lettings sector has been during the difficult last 18 months.
However, while the number of products is up, so too are the average BTL mortgage rates. The 2-year fixed deals have increased from 2.61% in July 2020 to 2.98% in July 2021, which is an increase of 0.37%. Likewise, the average 5-year rate is up 0.31% from 2.97% to 3.28%.
That said, there is good news for landlords who are currently coming to the end of any fixed two-year deals. Although average rates have risen year-on-year, the rates have actually come down since 2019. So, if you are in this situation, you can find some better deals.
Whether you are looking to sell your home, purchase a buy-to-let property, or rent your home, we can help. We can advise on changes for house buyers and landlords, too. Jameson & Partners is a knowledgeable, independent estate agency located in the heart of Altrincham. Contact us for a FREE property valuation or to get help or advice on lettings.