A summary of the budget announcements that may affect the private rented sector……
Finance and tax
Stamp duty land tax – the government will raise the price at which a property becomes liable for SDLT to £300,000 for first‑time buyers. The relief will not apply to properties worth over £500,000.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) payment window – The introduction of the 30-day payment window between a capital gain arising on a residential property and payment will be deferred until April 2020.
Rent-a-room relief – The government will call for evidence to establish how rent-a-room relief is used and make steps to ensure it is better targeted towards longer-term lettings.
Raising income tax bracket – The personal allowance for income tax will be increased from £11,500 to £11,850 from April 2018. The threshold to pay a higher rate of income tax will rise from £45,000 to £46,350.
Mileage rates for landlords – The government will continue to allow unincorporated landlords the choice to use the government’s fixed mileage rates or actual vehicle running costs and capital allowances when it comes to calculating deductible motoring expenses.
Supply and rents
Empty homes premium – The government is keen to bring empty properties back into use. To help achieve this, local authorities will be able to increase the council tax premium from 50% to 100%.
Longer tenancies – The government will consult on landlords offering longer, more secure tenancies to those tenants who want them.
Review of build out – The government will set up a panel to explain the gap between housing completions and the planning permission given, and make recommendations for closing it.
Register of planning permissions – The government will create a central register of residential planning permissions to improve information on where permissions are held and progress towards them being built
Small sites – The government will provide a further £630 million to accelerate the building of homes on small sites. Helping boost housing supply.
New garden towns – The government will bring together public and private capital to build five new garden towns.
Universal Credit – The government will provide more support to Universal Credit claimants. From January 2018, those who qualify will be able to access up to a month’s worth of Universal Credit within five days via an interest-free advance. The government will extend the period of recovery from six months to twelve months, making it easier for claimants to manage. From February 2018, the government will remove the seven-day waiting period so that entitlement to Universal Credit starts on the first day of application. From April 2018 those already on Housing Benefit will continue to receive their award for the first two weeks of their Universal Credit claim. The government will make it easier for claimants to have the housing element of their award paid directly to their landlord.
Targeted Affordability Funding – To support Housing Benefit and Universal Credit claimants living in areas where private rents have been rising fastest, the government will increase some Local Housing Allowance rates.
Rent payment data – The government will support firms developing innovative solutions that help first‑time buyers ensure their history of meeting rental payments on time is recognised in their credit scores and mortgage applications.
Rough sleeping – The Budget sets out the government’s first steps towards its commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2022, and to eliminate it by 2027.
Housing First pilots – The government will invest £28 million in three Housing First pilots in Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands, to support rough sleepers with the most complex needs to turn their lives around.