HOUSEHUNTERS in England and Northern Ireland looking to buy a home usually pay stamp duty on properties over £125,000. But it's £500,000 right now thanks to a stamp duty holiday - so what is stamp duty and how is it calculated? We run-down the rules for stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland, as rates differ for those buying homes in Scotland and Wales . What is stamp duty? Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a lump sum payment most people have to pay when buying a property or land. How much buyers have to fork out varies depending on the price and type of property. A stamp duty holiday was introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic to get the property market moving again. It means there is no stamp duty for properties up to £500,000 until March 31, 2021. But chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing to extend the stamp duty holiday by three months until the end of June. The usual stamp duty rates when there is not a holiday mean first-time buyers … [Read more...] about Stamp duty calculator: how much is it and when does the holiday end?
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SECONDARY school kids won't all be able to go back on the dot on March 8 as they have to be tested first, Gavin Williamson confirmed today. The Education Secretary stressed that schools could have a few days to get all their children back in as they would need to organise dishing out the tests. Secondary school kids are to be tested twice a week under fresh plans to get children back in the classroom from March 8 - with the first two done in schools. They must be done at least three days apart, meaning millions may not be going back until the week after. As officials said earlier this week, kids will be allowed a staggered return in order to sort out the system. Breakfast and after-school clubs and children's sport can also start again. Primary pupils will not have to be tested or wear masks. But all secondary school children must take four tests within the first fortnight of reopening. Teens will be free to attend class after their first negative test but … [Read more...] about Secondary school kids WON’T all go back on March 8 as they have to be tested first, Gavin Williamson confirms
TRAVELODGE has released over one million hotel rooms for £25 or less at city, countryside and coastal locations across England. Following the Government’s announcement yesterday, the hotel chain is now taking bookings from May 17 with rooms at bargain prices. With family rooms for four people included in the sale, this means a stay will set you back just £6.25 each. It also means couples heading away for a romantic weekend can do so for just £12.50 each. With staycations set to be more popular than ever, the cheap rooms provide a perfect base for exploring more of the UK. Travelodge rooms from £25 per night - book here There are hotels in countryside destinations like the Peak District or the Yorkshire Dales, and 36 hotels in coastal locations like Cornwall , Devon, Scarborough, Brighton , Bournemouth, Blackpool and Southend-on-Sea. City lovers can book a break in London , Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Oxford, Cambridge or York. Our best UK … [Read more...] about Travelodge launches room sale with bargain breaks from £6.25pp at hotels across England from May 17
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally declaring the end of lockdown is firmly in our sights, many of us are desperate to book that long-awaited getaway. But just where and what can we do? Here are some of your holiday questions answered. When can we holiday at home? Domestic holidays will be allowed from April 12 - after Easter - although hotels and B&B’s will not open until at least May 17. When can we travel abroad? Foreign travel may also be given the go-ahead from May 17, although a review into restarting travel concludes on April 12. Depending on its findings, dates could change. Where can we go? Currently there are 33 countries on the high-risk list. Anyone travelling from these countries to the UK will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for ten days at a cost of £1,750. You will also need to take two coronavirus tests. It isn’t known how long this scheme will run for. Do you enjoy reading about politics? Sign up for all the … [Read more...] about Essential holiday questions answered – what you can and can’t book in UK and abroad
As of Tuesday, the German capital is one year into its five-year "rent freeze," and the data collected so far has given both opponents and supporters fuel for their arguments. A survey published last week by property ad portal ImmoScout24 found that while Berlin's average rent has indeed dropped in the past year, by 7.8%, the number of new flats on the market eligible for a rent reduction had dropped too — by some 30%. That has had a major effect on the competition for new apartments, ImmoScout24 said, with an average of 214 people answering each rental advert in January 2021, compared to 128 in the same month last year. Many cities around the world have some kind of rent control measures in place, but Berlin's rent cap law, in effect since February 2020, is unique. It meant that rents for 90% of Berlin's apartments were frozen for five years at the level they were at in June 2019. New rental contracts could not be above that level, and as of November 2020, any existing rents … [Read more...] about Berlin’s revolutionary rent cap — success or flop?