Rural Estates Newsletter Spring 2021 - Flipbook - Page 5
Stamp duty land tax
In an attempt by the Government to improve the affordability of housing, a new stamp
duty land tax (SDLT) surcharge now imposes on non-UK residents an extra two per cent
of SDLT on the purchase of residential property. The complexity of SDLT has increased
once again and many questions spring to mind: exactly which purchases does the
surcharge apply to, when does it take effect and how is residency determined? Charlotte
Black’s article addresses all these questions and more.
There remains a brief window to take advantage of reduced SDLT for a purchase of
residential property as the full benefit of the ‘stamp duty holiday’ granted at the start
of the pandemic (which increased the nil tax threshold to £500,000) will now end on
30 June 2021. The threshold will then reduce to £250,000 on 1 July before returning to
£125,000 on 1 October.
Residential evictions still on hold…
Whilst residential possession claims may now be issued, and pre-existing claims
reactivated, evicting a residential tenant remains beyond the reach of most landlords. A
review hearing is now required before a substantive possession hearing and a landlord
must provide evidence of the impact of the pandemic on their tenant. Even then, save
in limited situations such as at least six months’ rent being unpaid, possession orders
cannot be enforced so it remains unlawful to evict most residential tenants and will be so
until at least 31 May 2021.
… and commercial landlords similarly constrained
The Government has, again, extended the moratorium on forfeiture of commercial leases
to 30 June 2021 preventing a landlord from effecting re-entry or forfeiture for non-payment
(whether or not for a coronavirus related reason). Likewise, restrictions on the use of
Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery have been extended to the same date after which it
is due to revert to the pre-coronavirus threshold of seven days’ rent. Further ahead, the
Government intends to conduct a review of a broad range of commercial landlord and
tenant legislation including “the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 Part II, different models of rent
payment, and the impact of coronavirus on the market”.
Rural Estates Newsletter