Zero stamp duty for property valued up to £500K during COVID-19 pandemic

The UK government announced zero stamp duty for property valued up to £500K during COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, 8 July 2020. This is a temporary stamp duty holiday that will run from now until 31 March 2021.

This Zero stamp duty for property valued up to £500K during COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly boost the UK property market and encourage people to buy properties in the UK now.

Property or lease premium or transfer valueSDLT rateCOVID-19 period
SDLT rate
Up to £125,000Zero
Up to £500,000Zero
The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)2%
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)5%
The next £425,000 (the portion from £500,001 to £925,000)5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)10%10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)12%12%
Source: GOV.UK

Stamp duty saving if you buy property valued up to £500K now

Let compares the saving, If you buy a house for £570,000 and you are not a first time buyer.

NORMAL SDLTCOVID-19 SDLT
0% on the first £125,000 = £0
2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500
5% on the final £320,000 = £16,000
Total SDLT = £18,500
0% on the first £500,000 = £0
5% on the next £70,000 = £3,500
Total SDLT = £3,500

You will save a massive £15,000 on stamp duty land tax (SDLT).

Companies House filings during COVID-19 pandemic

Companies House also step up to support UK businesses during COVID-19 pandemic. They will automatically extend your company’s filing deadline. This would help your business if it is severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and help you to avoid a late filing penalty. You do not need to do anything. You just need to go to Companies House website to check your new filing deadline.

On the same note, your confirmation statement filing deadline will also be extended. You would have 6 weeks to file your confirmation statement. Likewise, for the events driven filings, you will have 42 days (6 weeks) to notify Companies House instead of the usual 14 days filing deadline.

In addition, Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

During this pandemic, you are encouraged to submit your documents online to Companies House. You can use the webfiling service to file the following documents to Companies House.

To file online, you would require your company’s authentication code. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

If you require help with your company’s filings, contact Our accountants. They will be more than happy to assist you.

EICR for private tenants

EICR for private tenants. EICR stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 require landlords to ensure all fixed electrical appliances are safe for continued use in their privately rented out properties.

This law comes into effect on 1 June 2020 and applies to Landlords in England only.

If you are a landlord and is renting out your property, you must provide the EICR to your private tenants within 28 days of the test.

Qualified Electrician Inspector

For this purpose, you must use a qualified and competent person to carry out the test. You may use the Government approved electrical competent person register to find your electrical in your local area or to check if your electrician is registered with the scheme. You can see which scheme the person or company you check is currently registered with. For example, you will see the logo ‘NIC EIC’ or ‘NAPIT’.

The inspection aspects

Primarily, your qualified electrician should carry out the test that meets the standard set out in the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations. Your qualified electrician shall carry out the following tests:

  • the wiring
  • the socket outlets and plug sockets
  • the light fitting
  • the fuse box
  • showers
  • extractors etc.

The purpose of the test is to find out the following:

  • If your electrical installations are overloaded.
  • Whether there are any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards.
  • Any defective electrical work detected.
  • There is a lack of earthing or bonding – these are 2 ways of preventing electrical shocks that are built into electrical installations.

The inspection report outcomes

Correspondingly, you would receive a report with one of the following 4 outcomes:

  1. Code 1 (C1): Danger present. Risk of injury. The electrical inspector may make any C1 hazards safe before leaving the property.
  2. Code 2 (C2): Potentially dangerous.
  3. Further Investigation (FI): Further investigation required without delay.
  4. Code 3 (C3): Improvement recommended. Further remedial work is not required for the report to be deemed satisfactory.

If you get the codes C1 or C2 in on your report, then you as a landlord must carry out remedial work. Your report will state the installation is unsatisfactory for continued use.

If you get the code FI, you must also ensure you follow up on this.

The cost of obtaining this EICR is your property expense and is deductible against your rental income.

Using limited company for your properties letting business

If you are using a limited company to hold your properties letting portfolio, you must also comply with Companies House requirements. You must deliver the following documents to Companies House every year.

During this COVID-19 outbreak, you deliver the above documents online. For this, you would require your company’s authentication code issued by Companies House.

On the same note, if your business is severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and unable to deliver your accounts on time, you can apply for an extension from Companies House.

Save the commercial tenants to save businesses

The UK government has issued a press release and announced further protection by law to save the commercial tenants to save businesses during this pandemic.

Previously, the Coronavirus Act 2020, Part 1 Section 82 and 83 protect commercial tenants from forfeiture due to failure to pay rent. In other words, Landlords or Agents acting on behalf cannot evict commercial tenants from 25 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.

The UK Government announced a lockdown from 23 March 2020 and start easing lockdown from 11 May 2020. Many businesses still must remain closed during an easing of the lockdown period. In particular the hospitality sector like restaurants, bars, hotels, gyms, hairdressers, nails salons etc.

Today, the Government announced that the protection by law to save the commercial tenants to save businesses will extend to 30 September 2020. A further 3 months protection from eviction. Correspondingly, also encouraged landlords and tenants to work together with regard to rents payments and other arrangements.

The extension of the protection period to 30 September 2020 enforces once Royal Assent is received.

This is a great news for UK businesses.

Other support available for UK companies

There is support and help from Companies House for company directors that currently abroad to comply with their UK company’s legal filings requirements.

 You can submit the following documents online with Companies House.

All you need is your company’s authentication code issued by Companies House. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

If you are unable to complete your company accounts due to the interruption from this COVID-19 outbreak, you can apply to Companies House to extend your company accounts filing deadline without incurring a late filing penalty.

Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

If you require help with your UK company’s filings, contact us. Our accountants can help you.

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