Rishi Sunak implemented a stamp duty ‘holiday’ in his summer statement for second and additional homes – starting today – which is great news for the private rented sector

Private landlords have welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement to reform stamp duty for buy-to-let properties.

The 3% levy on the purchase of additional homes by landlords in England and Northern Ireland will immediately change, from covering the first £125,000 of a property to the first £500,000. After that, the rates will be 8% on the next £425,000, 13% on the next £575,000 and 15% on the remaining amount. These measures last until 31st March 2021, which is longer than many people expected.

Companies as well as individuals buying residential property worth less than £500,000 will also benefit from these changes, as will companies that buy residential property of any value where they meet the relief conditions from the corporate 15% Stamp Duty Land Tax charge.

Landlords have also welcomed the fact they can now apply for funding towards energy improvements to rental homes; the Government’s £2 billion Green Homes Grant will provide at least £2 for every £1 that homeowners and landlords spend to make their homes more energy efficient, and up to £5,000 per household. 

The National Residential Landlords Association has campaigned for support for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their homes – which it believes will benefit tenants through lower utility bills. Chief executive Ben Beadle says: “Improving the energy efficiency of rental housing is good news for tenants, landlords and local economies. We encourage all landlords to make use of this as it will mean housing standards are improved, tenants will save money and it will reduce carbon emissions across the whole sector.”  He adds that while the change to the stamp duty rates for the purchase of rental homes is welcome, it could go further. “The additional rates should be scrapped in cases where landlords invest in properties adding to the overall supply of housing. This includes investing in new build and bringing empty homes back into use.”

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