Budget 2020: Little for landlords as focus on Coronavirus

13 Mar 2020 02:34 PM

New chancellor Rishi Sunak didn’t have much to offer landlords when he delivered his first budget in the Commons yesterday. 

The RLA was disappointed the Chancellor did not take positive action to help reverse the fall in the supply of homes to let by reviewing the tax system as outlined in the association’s submission. Its calls included proposals for stamp duty and Capital Gains Tax exemptions.

The private rented sector was barely mentioned at all in the Budget, with housing announcements focusing on housebuilding, homeownership and social housing. 

Housing announcements included:  


Elsewhere the budget focussed on tackling Coronavirus and supporting those affected.

These plans included measures that could affect landlords with tenants on benefits.

Among temporary measures introduced were changes meaning: 

For the RLA’s advice on Coronavirus click here.

Other key policy decisions in the Budget which could affect landlords included announcements on welfare, tax and flooding.


Connection to Broadband

New build homes’ connectivity – The Budget announced that DCMS will shortly publish a consultation response which will confirm the government’s intention to legislate to ensure that new build homes are built with gigabit-capable broadband.

Flood Protection

Flood defences – Starting in 2021, the government will invest £5.2 billion in a six-year capital investment programme for flood defences. This investment will better protect 336,000 properties from flooding.

Place-based resilience schemes – The government confirmed a new £200 million package of place-based resilience schemes to ensure faster recovery for rural, urban and coastal communities most at risk of flooding.

Winter flood defence fund – The government will provide £120 million to repair flood defences which were damaged in the floods in winter 2019-20.

Tax Decisions

Non-UK resident Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge – The government will introduce a 2% SDLT surcharge on non-UK residents purchasing residential property in England and Northern Ireland from 1 April 2021. This will help to control house price inflation and to support UK residents to get onto and move up the housing ladder. The money raised from the surcharge will be used to help address rough sleeping.

Housing co-operatives: Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) – To make the taxation of housing co-operatives fairer, the government will introduce a relief for qualifying housing co-operatives from the ATED and the 15% flat rates of SDLT on purchases of dwellings over £500,000. The SDLT relief in England and Northern Ireland will take effect from Autumn Budget 2020 and the UK-wide ATED relief from 1st April 2021 with a refund available for 2020-21.

Future of Making Tax Digital – The government will publish an evaluation of the introduction of Making Tax Digital for VAT, along with related research.

Funding HMRC to prepare for breathing space – The government will invest an additional £12.5 million in HMRC in 2020-21 to begin work immediately on ringing in breathing space. From early 2021 this will mean that those in problem debt can access a 60-day breathing space, including for debts to HMRC, while they engage with debt advice and work towards a sustainable debt solution.

Full details of the budget announcements can be found in the budget red book here.