Predicting the property market is one the favourite pastimes among British people and why wouldn’t it be when probably their biggest investment went into their homes. For this reason, estate agency Winkworth has looked into the year ahead to make sure that house buyers, landlords, sellers, and anyone interested in property, know the key dates for any introductions or changes to government schemes and property laws.
1. April 2018 – Changes to how lifetime ISA Bonus is paid
The Individual Savings account (ISA) is an essential savings tool, especially for those looking into buying their first home, because it allows people to earn an additional £1,000 tax-free bonus, outside of the individual maximum savings of £4,000. The money is usually invested in buying a first home worth up to £450,000. Starting with April, the ISA bonus payments will switch from annually to monthly.
2. April 2018 and October 2018 – Help to Save scheme launch
Help to Save is a new saving scheme backed by the government to support working people on low incomes to build their savings. It will be officially launched in October 2018 and will allow qualified savers to put away up to £50 per month, following a £600 reward from the government after two years. After the two years, the holder can either extend the scheme for two more years or cash in.
3. April 2018, April 2020 – New energy efficiency rules
As of April 2018, landlords taking on new tenancies will be required to prove their property meets the minimum energy efficiency rating of E by providing an Energy Performance Certificate. This will also apply to existing tenancies starting with April 2020. The fees for not meeting the requirement are up to £4,000.
4. To Be Confirmed – Ban on letting agency fees
In November 2017 the Parliament introduced a new draft bill to ban letting agency fees and it will take action in 2018. This aims to make renting more transparent for tenants, which will be presented with a clear price guide, cap security deposits at six weeks rent, and create a compulsory Ombudsman Redress Scheme.