HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has recently announced that it will implement capital gains tax (CGT) changes, which will affect landlords, to the tax system for the 2020-21 tax year.
At the moment, if a person buys a property, uses it for their main residence, and then rents the property out before selling it, they are entitled to claim Principal Private Residence relief (PPR) for the final 18 months that they owned the property.
However, this 18-month period will be reduced to nine months, when the changes take place. That said, anyone who is selling a property because they are moving into a care home, or who has a disability, will still be able to claim for the past 36 months of ownership.
Moreover, under the changes, which are due to take place during April 2020, there will also be no more lettings relief. Currently, lettings relief can be claimed by landlords who are renting out a home they used to live in. They can claim the lowest of the same amount they received in PPR, the same amount as the chargeable gain they made from letting their home or £40,000. However, from April 2020, lettings relief will only apply to landlords who live in the property with their tenants.
Industry professionals have criticised both changes, and speculate that ‘accidental landlords’, meaning those who are forced to rent out their former homes due to work or family commitments, will be worst-hit.
As a result of the changes, some of these owners may choose to sell up before 5 April 2020, as sales completed before the end of 2019-20 will still be eligible for relief under the old rules. As a consequence, buy-to-let sales will likely speed up over the coming months.