Taxation of property

Bricks and mortar

Becoming a landlord has been an attractive proposition for anyone who could raise a deposit, thanks to a prolonged period of low borrowing costs and generally rising property values. However, the outlook is currently uncertain, even though the housing market, helped by the temporary cut to stamp duty, has so far performed much better than expected since the market reopened in May after the closure of all non-essential businesses for the initial Covid-19 lockdown.

This recent growth could easily come to an abrupt end if unemployment rises further when the employee furlough scheme is replaced by less generous job support schemes from 1 November and additional local lockdowns and restrictions over the coming months. There is also the small matter of the UK leaving the EU at the end of the transition period in December. From April 2020, finance costs generally no longer qualify for relief at higher tax rates, with various adverse capital gains tax (CGT) changes having come in at the same time.