In this three-minute read, we look at what lies ahead for landlords in the remainder of 2020.
If you had to sum up 2020 in one word (without using “unprecedented” because it has been overused) what would it be? Weird? Abnormal? Or what about unheard-of? (Okay, maybe that is two words, but you catch our drift).
Whatever adjective you choose, it is a safe bet that you will not forget the first six months of 2020 in a hurry. But as things slowly edge towards getting back to normal, it is worth taking a moment to look beyond the pandemic. As we gear up for the second half of the year, there are other issues specific to landlords that are also important to consider.
You must stay on top of any new rules or regulations that might have come into place over the past few months – or indeed may be on the horizon.
The situation with Covid-19 understandably absorbed most of our attention, but in the background, lots of other things have been going on. Make sure any important legal changes do not slip under your radar. Breach the law and the excuse “I was busy watching the daily press briefing” just will not cut it.
In Scotland, new rules around the energy efficiency of private lets that were due to come into play in April have been postponed due to Covid-19. So stay tuned for the latest update on that.
If you want to feel reassured that you have got a handle on all your legal requirements, get in touch with an industry expert such as a letting agent. It is their job to know when new guidance is published and when laws are introduced.
A change that came into effect in April while we were all adjusting to life in lockdown relates to changes to tax relief. These changes have been phased in over several years, but the final stage kicked in on April 6. Landlords will now receive a tax credit based on 20% of mortgage interest payments. This is quite different to a few years back when they could deduct their mortgage interest from rental income before calculating tax.
Changing tenant priorities
If you are looking to let a property in the next few months, take time to reassess its major selling points. Do you need to change your marketing strategy? Whereas, once proximity to public transport may have been the top drawcard, now the sunny courtyard or the large living area could be the real winner. Even though many people will be returning to offices soon, flexible working is here to stay. Expect more people to work from home at least some of the time – hence where they live will be more important to them than ever. So consider how you can make your property more appealing to someone who works from home. Are there small changes you could make inside or out that would make it more marketable? Ask local property experts for their advice about trends in the local area.
Here at Scottish Property Centre, we want to help you get through 2020 and thrive in 2021 and beyond. If you have any questions about the rental property market in Glasgow and Lanarkshire, get in touch.
Thanks for reading.