We intend to recommence training next month via zoom.
We are looking to start with 2 hour sessions on 1. Possession and 2. Compliance. We will run both courses twice, once daytime and once evening. Dates to be confirmed. If you are interested in either course register with the office.
We will also be running the first accreditation course via zoom so again if you are interested, register with the office.
On Tuesday 17th November , Gillian Kerr and Linda Johns attended the meeting along with various representatives from the PRS in Plymouth.
Many items were discussed including; actions taken by each party during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Climate Emergency and possible new funding opportunity, Legislation & Policy Updates, HHSRS and issues as we enter the winter.
I am sure by now you are all aware of the latest Government lockdown update, announced on Saturday 31st October 2020.
As news and information becomes available from the Government website, regarding all things that may affect landlords, courts, the housing market and tenants, we will update our Website Newsfeed to keep you informed of any changes moving forward.
Martin Allen, from Electrical Safety First will be giving an overview of how the new Electrical Safety Regulations affect you as a private landlord in a webinar organised by Bristol City Council on 1 October 2020 at 2pm. There are a maximum of 100 places, so please register your interest by emailing: email@example.com and type in ESF Webinar.
A third of places are booked up so please register soon.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) (Sole Traders and Individual Partners)
Second and Final Grant – Are you still eligible?
From 17 August 2020 the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will open for claims for the second and final grant. If you applied for the first grant, then HMRC may email you regarding the second grant. (The email will be sent from: firstname.lastname@example.org)
You will be able to claim from 17 August 2020 until the scheme ends on 19 October 2020. The eligibility criteria remain the same as for the first grant. However, you will be asked to complete a declaration confirming that your business has been adversely affected by Covid-19 at any time since 14 July 2020. This typically means that your business has experienced extremely reduced income and/or much higher costs because of Covid-19 at any time since 14 July 2020. If you make a claim and your business has not meet this criteria then the claim could be deemed to have been made fraudulently.
HMRC expect you to make an honest assessment about whether your business has been adversely affected. You will need to keep a record of evidence of how your business has been adversely affected and be able to justify this if HMRC call for your records. The second taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits. This will be based on three months’ worth of profits and will be capped at a maximum of £6,570.
How to claim:
On or after 17 August 2020 go to www.gov.uk and in the search box enter: ‘Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’. Please do not try and claim early as the online portal will not be available before 17 August 2020.
What you will need (the same information as was needed to make the first claim):
o National insurance number
o Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
o Government gateway user ID and password
o Bank account number and sort code (we recommend you use the account which you usually use for business transactions)
o The address the bank account is registered to. This is probably your trading address or possibly your home address. If you are unsure, we would suggest you check your bank statements.
Once HMRC approve your claim, they will authorise payment direct to your bank account and funds should reach you within six working days.
If you do not have access to an internet connection, then you can make your claim over the telephone. The Covid-19 support number is 0800 024 1222 (Mon – Fri 8am to 4pm). This telephone line is expected to be extremely busy and we would recommend that you only contact HMRC if you are unable to claim online.
SEISS & Tax
The SEISS Grant is taxable income and it must be recorded within your business books and records. You should therefore keep a record of any grants received, as this information will be needed when deal with your tax affairs. If you are VAT registered, then the SEISS grant is outside the scope of VAT and does not need to be reported on any VAT returns.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The CJRS scheme is still available to assist employers, however, please be sure you are aware of the changes effective over the next couple of months.
o 1 August 2020
The government will pay 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 per month. Employers will pay the employer’s national insurance and pension contributions.
o 1 September 2020
The government will pay 70% of wages, capped at £2,187.50 per month. Employers will pay the employer’s national insurance and pension contributions, as well as and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
o 1 October 2020
The government will pay 60% of wages, capped at £1,875 per month. Employers will pay the employer’s national insurance and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
HMRC Fraud Scams
There has been an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. If you are contacted by text, phone or email claiming to be from HMRC, stating that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund please be mindful that this may be a scam. Do not click on any links or provide any bank account details or personal details over the phone.
This information is designed to assist understanding and does not cover all aspects applicable. We would strongly recommend that you refer to the governments published information, as this may change on a daily basis. Further information is available from: www.gov.uk
We have not forgotten about training, we are working in the background to bring back courses as soon as it is practical and safe to do so.
We do not want to book courses too early and then have to cancel, but be rest assured that we are aiming to have courses up and running again later this year.
If your accreditation has expired during the covid period or about to expire, give us a call and we will book you on the first available accreditation course.
We have been advised by the Organisers of the Landlord Expo in Bristol on the 26th March, that due to the Coronavirus it has been postponed. They will advise us when this will be rescheduled.
Our Committee have taken the decision to postpone our General Meeting that was due to be held at the Future Inn on the 22nd April 2020, for the same reason. We will update you when this will be rescheduled.
The Teignbridge Landlord Open Evening at Newton Abbot Racecourse on 19th May has also been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
Landlords- you can now compare local Letting Agent fees on one website FREE OF CHARGE.
Letting Agents- you can add your company information and fees FREE OF CHARGE to the website.
The comparison site will reveal how much local letting agents charge for ‘full property management’, ‘rent collection’ and ‘tenant find only’ services.
4 simple steps
For further information: www.comparelettingagentfees.co.uk
Wednesday 5th February, Anna Lord (SWLA Senior Administrator) attended the meeting along with various representatives from the PRS in Plymouth. The aim of the group is to drive up housing conditions.
Many items were discussed including; changes in HMO licencing in line with mandatory licencing, the costings of HMO licencing, PATH tenancy training programs, the climate emergency and what the PRS can do to help.
SWLA are proud to be part of this group; helping to drive up housing conditions for tenants whilst ensuring members and course attendees are aware of their landlord obligations.
SWLA AGM – Wednesday 22nd January 2020 – 7.30pm – Future Inn, Plymouth
Wednesday 11th December 2019; 3pm-6pm
Come and join us for a mince pie and a catch up. All members welcome!
Have your say! The Government consultation closes on Saturday 12th October 2019
Iain Maitland (Vice Chair SWLA) and Linda Johns (SWLA Policy Officer) met with Matt Garrett (Service Director, Community Connections Plymouth City Council) and Councillor Chris Penberthy (Cabinet for Housing and Co-operative Development) on Monday 1st October 2019.
Items on the agenda included the oversupply of HMOs in Plymouth and the abolition of Section 21.
If any of our members would like further information regarding change of use of HMOs, please contact the SWLA Office.
IMPORTANT REMINDER; the government’s Abolition of Section 21 consultation closes on Saturday 12th October 2019. Carry out the online consultation survey if you want your view to be heard.
We had a meeting in our Office today, with Andy Richens, and Nigel Mellor both Policy Advisors from the “Office of Tax Simplification”.
In attendance were Iain Maitland (Vice Chairman), Steve Lees (Chairman) and Katarina Swain (Treasurer). They came to discuss and obtain our viewpoint on simplifying Tax payments for the self-employed and landlords. We will update you as we receive more information on this subject in due course.
Just a little reminder, when giving out a copy of the “How To Rent Guide” to your tenants at the start of their tenancy, please always search the Gov.uk website for How to Rent Guide to ensure you give the most up to date version possible to your tenants.
SWLA General Meeting; Wednesday 16th October 2019
7.30pm, Future Inn Plymouth
Speakers covering landlord related topics
Thank you to everyone who attended our open office get together! It was great to catch up and enjoy a cream tea.
Next date for your diaries; Wednesday 16th October 2019, SWLA General Meeting at Future Inn, Plymouth. Three speakers to keep our members up to date on numerous landlord matters.
Making Tax Digital (MTD) – Mandatory digital record keeping for VAT for businesses over the VAT threshold (with turnover over £85,000) came into force from 1 April 2019. This was an important first step in the modernisation of the tax system to which the government remains committed.
The government have confirmed a light touch approach to penalties in the first year of implementation. Where businesses are doing their best to comply, no filing or record keeping penalties will be issued. The focus will be on supporting businesses to transition and the government will therefore not be mandating MTD for any new taxes or businesses in 2020.
Information above taken from the ‘Spring Statement 2019: Written Ministerial Statement’. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/785618/WMS_final_Commons.pdf
For further information, see the gov.uk website; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-tax-digital/overview-of-making-tax-digital
The Ministry of Housing and Local Communities have updated the ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’ guide.
Landlords and Agents must provide tenants with the latest copy of the guide at the beginning of a tenancy. Landlords are not required to supply a further copy of the publication each time a different version is published during the tenancy.
Print the guide straight from the gov.uk website to ensure that you are providing the latest version to your tenant.
In relation to the Housing Act 1988, Section 21; the Form 6a is also expected to be updated.
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 has arrived (01 June 2019). SWLA landlord stationery and documents have been updated accordingly. You can print documents straight from the SWLA website ‘members area’ to ensure that you are using the most up to date version.
The ban applies to assured shorthold tenancies (except social housing or long leases), tenancies of student accommodation and licences to occupy housing in the private rented sector in England. Most tenancies in the private rented sector are assured shorthold tenancies.
You cannot require a tenant (or anyone acting on their behalf or guaranteeing their rent) to make certain payments in connection with a tenancy. You cannot require them to enter a contract with a third party or make a loan in connection with a tenancy.
From 1 June 2019, if you enter into a tenancy agreement, student let or licence to occupy housing in the private rented sector, you will be prohibited from charging any fees or other payments that are not included in the list of permitted payments.
Where a tenancy agreement was entered into before 1 June 2019, you will still be able to charge fees until 31 May 2020, but only where these are required under an existing tenancy agreement. After 1 June 2020, the term requiring that payment will no longer be binding. Should you, in error, ask a tenant to make such a payment, you should return the payment immediately and must return this within 28 days. If you do not return the payment within 28 days, you will be treated for the purposes of the Act as having required the tenant to make a prohibited payment (a payment that is outlawed under the ban). You do not need to return any amount of tenancy deposit that is over the cap for tenancy agreements that were entered into before the Tenant Fees Act came into force.
From 1 June 2020, the ban on fees will apply to all applicable tenancies. You will not be able to charge any fees after this date unless they are a permitted payment.
If the fee you are charging is not on this list, it is a prohibited payment and you should not charge it. A prohibited payment is a payment outlawed under the ban.
The only payments you can charge in connection with a tenancy are:
a) the rent
b) a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
c) a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week’s rent
d) payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
e) payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
f) payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and
g) A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement
More information/guidance for landlords on the Tenant Fee Ban can be found on the gov.uk website;
The Home Office have released Brexit Guidance on Right to Rent.
Until 1 January 2021 EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be able to prove their right to rent in the UK as they do now, for example by showing their passport or national identity card.
There will be no change to the way EU, EEA and Swiss citizens prove their right to rent until 1 January 2021. This remains the same if the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal. Landlords do not need to check if new EEA and Swiss tenants arrived before or after the UK left the EU, or if they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or European temporary leave to remain.
Landlords will not need to retrospectively check the status of EU, EEA or Swiss tenants or their family members who entered into a tenancy agreement before 1 January 2021.
Irish citizens will continue to have the right to rent in the UK and prove their right to rent as they do now, for example using their passport.
Landlords should continue to conduct right to rent checks on all prospective tenants to comply with the code of practice on illegal immigrants and private rented accommodation and the code of practice for landlords: avoiding unlawful discrimination.
As is currently the case, in order for a landlord to obtain a statutory excuse from a civil penalty when letting to the non-EEA family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, the prospective tenant will need to show Home Office issued documentation as set out in the legislation and guidance.
New guidance on how to carry out right to rent checks from 1 January 2021 will be issued at a later date.
For more information see the gov.uk guidance; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/right-to-rent-checks-for-eu-eea-and-swiss-citizens-after-brexit
Whether you are a seasoned landlord, or a first time buyer, this event offers free advice on all aspects of letting property. SWLA will have a stand at the event, come along and see us if you are there!
Thursday 23 May 2019, 4.30pm to 8.30pm
Old Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX – Free parking
For further information and to book your ticket;
Wednesday 23rd January 2019-
Future Inn Plymouth-
The SWLA office will be closed from 3pm Friday 21st December 2018 and will re-open at 10am on Wednesday 2nd January 2019.
Emails and telephone messages will be checked and responded to in that period.
We wish all of our members a very lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.
On Friday 16th November, Gillian Kerr (Office Manager) and Iain Maitland (Vice Chair of SWLA) attended a Teignbridge District Council Stakeholders Event in Kennford.
Housing progress and plans for 2018/19 were discussed and many ideas were shared.