Cheers to more shared successes in the new year! Wishing you and yours some well-deserved downtime and a very happy new year to come. Cheers to health, happiness, and prosperity in 2022! Wishing you and yours a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year!
I hope that you had a lovely time over the festive period. My household had a slightly different Christmas and new Year as we were in isolation after coming in contact and testing positive for covid!
Luckily we do not seem to have lasting effects, although I am still a little tired and my voice isn’t quite back yet, I am aware it could have been a lot more serious and I am so thankful that we are safe and were together in a little bubble for Christmas and the start of the New Year.
In years to come it will be a distant memory and our story of the Covid Christmas.
Living with Covid-19 has proven to be challenging for us all, and everyone’s life has been affected in some way either personally or professionally by this terrible virus.
A New Deal for Tenants
We can expect 2022 to be another challenging year for Scotland’s landlords and letting agents, with the ongoing pandemic plus a new Scottish Government strategy for the private rented sector (PRS) being consulted upon.
The Scottish Government has published ‘A New Deal for Tenants’ a draft strategy consultation paper with a view to publishing the final strategy by the end of 2022.
Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government says that the strategy “sets out how we will work with private and social landlords to outline a range of measurers to provide an accessible and affordable rented sector in Scotland.”
Patrick Harvey MSP, Minister for Tenants’ Rights, hails the consultation as “an ambitious set of proposals for the phased implementation of a plan, over the next five years, to ensure that the rights and needs of people who rent homes in Scotland are met.”
John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), said: “Landlords and letting agents in Scotland have for a number of years been calling for certainty and strategic direction for the Scottish private rented sector. We welcome any move towards that. There has been a dramatic reduction in supply of private rented accommodation so we must hope this process will acknowledge the crucial role of landlords in providing safe, quality homes and encourage them to remain in the sector helping to prevent the shortages which have seen individuals, students and families alike unable to find a suitable home.”
Tenant Hardship Grant Contact details for local authorities
Tenants who have got into rent arrears as a result of the pandemic can apply for the new Tenant Hardship Grant. We have informed all tenants of these details, unfortunately we cannot apply on the tenants behalf. From day one of the pandemic the Scottish Association of Landlords, as part of the Scottish Government PRS Covid-19 resilience group, lobbied for support for tenants to be able to pay their rent and later for help for them to pay off Covid-19 related rent arrears. They are therefore pleased that the Scottish Government has now distributed a new £10 million grant fund to local authorities which is to be used to support tenants who are struggling as a direct result of the pandemic.
The grant funding is available from now until 31 March 2022. It can be used to pay off arrears which arose between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021 and the money is paid directly to the landlord or letting agent.
Reminder: Making Tax Digital was postponed
Under new HMRC rules, landlords with a turnover above £10,000 will have to keep financial records digitally using specialist software and send HMRC quarterly updates on their tax affairs. This is under reforms to tax return requirements termed “Making Tax Digital” (MTD).
HMRC has recently announced that the introduction of this requirement will be postponed for a year. MTD for Income Tax will now be mandated for businesses and landlords with a business income over £10,000 per annum in the tax year beginning on 6 April 2024.
Terms of Business
We have been sending out updated terms of business to our landlord clients, as best practice. Hopefully once I feel a little more like myself and have a consistent voice, as opposed to an intermittent husky squeak, Robin and I will arrange a zoom recording to go over the point raised on the terms of business.
Take care and here’s to the New Year! May 2022 be an extraordinary one
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