I try and not be political, but in last week’s email it has been brought to my attention I mentioned one political party and not others.
Please find attached and below a summary from the Scottish association of landlords with regards to party policies for today’s election.
As we prepare to cast our votes in the Scottish Parliament election, Landlords quite rightly might be thinking, “which political party will best support me as a landlord ?”
Supporting private landlords is not a vote winner for politicians and they are more likely to use their manifestos to propose policies that hurt the sector. It is therefore no surprise to see that both Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens are proposing radical reform to support private renters, by introducing rent controls and winter eviction bans, making it even more difficult for landlords to set rents and repossess their properties.
While the SNP can hardly be accused of being landlord friendly, they propose a new rented sector strategy and further rights for tenants. There seems to be broad consensus across the parties to regulate short-term lets.
On taxation, most parties plan to keep income tax rates the same except the Scottish Conservatives who want to match the UK. On Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT), the SNP are proposing no change while the Conservatives are proposing an increase in the threshold for payment to £250,000. Both the SNP and the Conservatives promise a full scale review of the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS)
In March of this year Citylets published a manifesto written by Propertymark outlining actions the government should take to improve the housing sector which can play a key role in the economic and social recovery after the pandemic.
Propertymark is calling on the next government to:
- Support the regulation of estate agents and ensure that the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) Working Group are well understood by the industry so that bad practices can be eliminated and consumer experience improved;
- Review Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) bands to support home buying and in particular those in the middle and high end of the market by extending the 5% levy to properties worth up to £500,000 and halving the tax currently paid by buyers in this price range;
- Oppose further rent controls beyond those already introduced under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 in December 2017;
- Take action on cladding and fire safety in multi-storey residential buildings by utilising the £97.149m Building Safety Fund as allocated in the UK Budget of March 2020;
- Take a holistic approach to improving the energy efficiency of housing and provide solutions that take into account age, condition and size of properties;
- Bring empty properties back into use by developing greater incentives for owners and supporting local authorities in providing dedicated resources to tackle the issue.
Investment in housing
An important part of the Propertymark manifesto also concentrates on investment needed in the housing sector for all tenures. Propertymark believes that the next government should:
- Commit to building more social housing to ensure more affordability and security of renting;
- Reduce the 4% surcharge on additional residential property to boost further investment in the private rented sector;
- Build more retirement housing and introduce incentives to downsize as part of catering for increasing demographic of people aged 65;
- Offer financial support to landlords and owner occupiers for home improvements in order to increase the energy efficiency of their homes;
- Reintroduce the Help to Buy Affordable New Build scheme to help first time buyers and people looking to move up the property ladder.
Daryl Mcintosh, Strategic Development Manager for Scotland, said: “The next Government have one of the most important mandates in recent years regarding the future of Scotland’s housing sector. There must be a focus on increasing supply of the right homes and raising the quality of new homes.
“The housing sector has felt the impact of Covid-19 and the policies and investment strategy of the next Government are important to stimulate the market and the economy whilst looking to the long-term vision of meeting the housing needs for the people of Scotland.”
This month is Eurovision month and that is as political as I personally get! I will vote today because it is my civic duty and I was brought up knowing women died for my right to vote, also I shouldn’t be disgruntled by government if I didn’t vote about it. Although the former president of the United States did spark an interest in American politics, which I think did with most people .
For those who are not aware of the Eurovision song contest in pre covid times, like many people I would have a Eurovision party, where a small gathering of friends would watch acts from many countries perform songs in artistic displays and then the many member countries would vote on the favourite, which tended to be political, showing how unpopular Britain is and enrage my partner because “Russia isn’t in Europe.”
There is probably no logical explanation why I love the Eurovision, it being cancelled last year was when the impact of covid 19 really became a reality for me. How far we as a global population have come in a short amount of time is inspiring, yet the tragic events in India show how far we still have to go to deal with this virus.
And I said I try and not be political(!)
Do landlords have to supply curtains/blinds?
Window coverings are not mandatory in either a furnished or unfurnished property but providing them is a good idea for a couple of reasons. Firstly, an absence of window coverings might put off prospective tenants as it can be difficult, time consuming and costly to supply curtains/blinds to fit the windows in a particular property.
Secondly, if each set of tenants puts up and removes coverings at the beginning and end of each tenancy this could damage the window surrounds. As a minimum we’d recommend a blind in the bathroom and curtain poles/rails in bedrooms and living rooms which tenants can use to hang low cost “off the shelf” curtains.
Tenants will expect window coverings in a property which is advertised as furnished so make it very clear to prospective tenants if there are any rooms you aren’t planning to supply window coverings for.
Take care, stay safe and if you have any questions or queries, please email into email@example.com
I am off to cast my vote!
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