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Updates in UK property laws: What you need to know

Welcome to the SQE Property Law & Land Law blog! Today, we will be discussing some crucial updates in UK property laws that every property owner, buyer, and investor needs to be aware of. These updates have the potential to greatly impact your real estate transactions and legal obligations, so it’s important to stay informed.

1. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Changes

One of the most significant updates is the temporary change in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) regulations. The UK government has introduced a stamp duty holiday until March 31, 2021, which means that for properties up to £500,000, no SDLT is payable. This change has provided a great opportunity for first-time buyers and those looking to move up the property ladder to save money. To understand the intricate details and implications of this change, it’s advisable to consult with a property lawyer.

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2. Leasehold Reform

The government has also taken steps towards leasehold reform to protect leaseholders’ rights and make the process fairer. This includes banning leasehold sales of new-build houses, reducing ground rents, and simplifying the enfranchisement process. If you are a leaseholder, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with these reforms to ensure your rights are fully protected.

3. Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016

If you are a landlord or tenant in Wales, you need to be aware of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. This legislation replaces several existing laws and introduces improvements in the private rented sector. It aims to provide clearer rights and responsibilities for tenants and landlords, making the renting process more efficient and transparent.

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4. EWS1 Forms

EWS1 forms have become a hot topic in the UK property market. These forms are required for buildings that are over 18 meters in height or have specific cladding systems. The purpose of these forms is to assess the fire safety of the building. As a property owner or buyer, it’s crucial to understand the requirements and implications of EWS1 forms, especially if you’re planning to sell or purchase a property affected by these regulations.

5. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

EPCs play a critical role in the UK property market. They provide information about a property’s energy efficiency and potential energy cost savings. From April 1, 2020, landlords must ensure their properties meet a minimum EPC rating of E for new tenancies. This requirement will extend to all existing tenancies from April 1, 2023. Failure to comply with EPC regulations can result in financial penalties, so it’s important to ensure your property is compliant.

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6. Impact of Brexit on Property Laws

With the UK officially leaving the European Union, there have been several implications for property laws. While some aspects may remain unchanged, others may require careful consideration. For example, non-UK residents may face additional restrictions when purchasing UK property. It’s crucial to consult with a property lawyer to navigate any legal changes and ensure compliance.


Staying updated on UK property laws is essential, as it can greatly impact your real estate transactions and legal obligations. The updates we discussed today, including the stamp duty holiday, leasehold reform, Renting Homes Act (Wales), EWS1 forms, EPC requirements, and the impact of Brexit, all require your attention as a property owner, buyer, or investor. By staying informed and seeking professional advice, you can navigate these changes effectively and ensure a smooth property transaction.

We hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss your specific property-related concerns, please contact us at SQE Property Law & Land Law. Our team of experienced solicitors is here to assist you.

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