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Property sector response to the Budget


Responding to the announcement in the Budget that the Universal Credit taper will be cut from 63% to 55% from 1 December 2021, Ben Beadle, chief executive at the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “(This) announcement is welcome news for those private tenants who have struggled to afford their rents throughout the pandemic, despite private rents falling in real terms. However, it does not undo the damage that previous decisions to freeze housing benefit rates in cash terms will cause. It is simply bizarre to have a system in which support for housing costs will no longer track market rents. The Chancellor needs to undo this unjust policy as a matter of urgency.” 

Other key announcements in the Budget affecting private landlords which the NRLA welcomes included: 

The Government pledge to bring forward exemptions to the Shared Accommodation Rate (which limits housing benefit support for single people under 35 to a room in a shared house) for victims of domestic abuse and victims of modern slavery, from October 2023 to October 2022. These vulnerable claimants will be able to claim the higher 1-bedroom self-contained Local Housing Allowance rate. 

From 27 October 2021 the deadline for residents to report and pay Capital Gains Tax after selling UK residential property increased from 30 days after the completion date to 60 days. 

As announced on 23 September 2021, the Government will give sole traders and landlords, with income over £10,000, an extra year to prepare for Making Tax Digital (MTD). MTD for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) will now be introduced from 6 April 2024.



Responding to the budget, Jonathan Hale, head of Government affairs at RICS, said: “While the next phase of business rates relief is welcome, this seemingly endless tinkering underlines the need for a longer-term reform to support high streets and help restore them into the thriving commercial centres that communities want to be proud of. The devil will be in the detail and our surveyors will need clear, unambiguous guidance from government to help businesses to make the most of this new support.

“Chancellor Sunak didn’t mention the need to retrofit, rather than demolish, existing buildings – a key to unlocking Net Zero carbon emissions for construction in Britain – but the £3.9bn pledged to decarbonise homes and offices, which included support for low income homeowners to transition their heating, is a good start.

“The £5bn for cladding replacement – which we have known was coming since February – will give more leaseholders greater peace of mind that their homes will be made safe but it’s still well short of the estimated £15bn needed to fix every building, but the additional funding to deliver 180,000 much needed affordable homes is welcome.”


Digitising the planning system and Brownfield development

Grant Leggett​, head of Boyer London, commented: “The Budget (paragraph 4.49) pledged ‘an additional £65m investment to improve the planning regime, through a new digital system that will ensure more certainty and better outcomes for the environment, growth and quality of design’. 

“It’s absolutely right that the planning system should be brought into the 21st century and digitisation is the way to do that: planning is spatial and to use GIS to communicate on planning is entirely natural. To elicit constructive comments on planning decisions though requires a step back: to seize imagination of the ‘silent majority’; to encourage them to engage and ultimately to create a more accurate balance the vociferous views of the ‘serial objectors’. 

“Is digital planning the way to do this? It is fanciful to assume that digitalisation alone can make planning appeal to young people: that takes much more than an app. Essentially, success will depend on how the £65m is distributed. Spread across all local authorities, £200,000 per local authority isn’t enough for each to make a substantial change. But if £65m was to be invested in a single system which could be rolled out across all local authorities in the UK, the impact could be seismic. This could go a long way to garnering enthusiasm and new ideas, providing genuinely constructive involvement and changing the way in which planning is perceived.”



David Hannah, principal consultant at Cornerstone Tax, said that the budget is reflecting a wider trend: “This Budget sets up what is becoming a wider trend in migration away from centres to the regions, so it is good to see that infrastructure spending is being put in place to support this. It is also good to see no further significant tax rises announced as the UK economy grows at a faster rate than first thought, as it has long been the thinking of many economists that growth, both economically and in tax takes, comes from lower taxes, not higher.

“The commentary around the property market and the pandemic positions Covid-19 as the only cause for this trend of deurbanisation outlined by property demand and our own data. We don’t think this is fair - many of us have long-dreamed of a slower life in the country, and the cultural significance of this dream is nothing new.”

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