Jan
17

New rent reporting system that links tenants’ rental payments with their credit report

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A new proptech platform has launched today that links tenants’ rental payments with their Experian credit report and provides a full rent reporting service for letting agents and landlords.

The Credit Builder platform is designed to help tenants improve their credit history by building up a validated rental record which they can share with future landlords and financial institutions

The post New rent reporting system that links tenants’ rental payments with their credit report appeared first on Property118.

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Jan
17

Fergus Wilson sues YouTuber for calling him racist

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Buy-to-Let Landlord:

Mr Danny Hyde, YouTube blogger and controller the YouTube channel Danny Hyde TV, is being sued by controversial landlord Fergus Wilson for what he says is a “grossly offensive” video. Wilson believes the video breaches the malicious communications act 1988.

Wilson is suing the YouTuber for £10,000 over the video he uploaded to YouTube saying the property mogul was ‘coming across as racist.’

The dispute stems from Mr Wilson’s policy banning ‘coloureds’ from renting his properties because of curry smells.

Mr Wilson who owned up to 1,000 rental properties in Kent before he started to sell off chunks of his portfolio told the Kent Messenger that he took particular offence at being called a “rude term” among other insults levelled at him in the video.

Danny Hyde, who has nearly 2,000 subscribers, said in his video that Mr Wilson was ‘coming across as a racist,” and that other measures such as air fresheners and opening windows could be used to get rid of curry smells, rather than just banning certain people.

Mr Wilson said that legal action against the vlogger was not due to any implication that he was racist, but because of the language he chose in the expletive laden video.

He said:

“I won’t take action over people who say I’m racist because there are too many people and I can’t sue them all.

“It’s not the content of what he wanted to say, it was the language that he selected, I was appalled at what this chap said in his opening sentence.”

If Mr Hyde doesn’t settle out of court, the landlord has threatened to bring a private prosecution against him.

In November last a court ruled that Mr Wilson’s policy preventing people from renting his properties based on their ethnicity was unlawful following intervention from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

An injunction was imposed, banning Wilson from applying criteria discriminating against “coloured” tenants, or those of Indian or Pakistani backgrounds. The injunction is to remain in place for three years. At the time the multi-millionaire was asked to pay costs of £2,665. If Mr Wilson complies with the ruling, the court said no further action will be taken.

The Wilson’s Letting Criteria

Letting Criteria from 1st January 2017

Like any business we are consistently fine tuning to best advantage.

The following are not acceptable:

1)      Tenants with children under 18. A child over 18 can be a co-tenant

2)      Only tenants with a Rent Guarantee

3)      No single mums or single fathers

4)      No tenants on Housing Benefit

5)      No low income workers

6)      No single adults

7)      No Zero hours workers

8)      No plumbers

9)      No battered wives

10)   No smokers

11)   No tenants with pets

Both tenants names to go on the Tenancy! Take National Insurance. Take car numbers. Take details of employment.

Fergus Wilson 27 12 2016

Fergus Wilson defends tenant selection policy

Mr Hyde’s offensive video – Landlord Bans “Coloured” People Because Of Curry!

2014 Channel 4 video about the Wilson’s – Tenants ‘nervous’ of landlord Fergus Wilson

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – Fergus Wilson sues YouTuber for calling him racist | LandlordZONE.

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Jan
16

DWP Service Testers Required

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DWP are making improvements to the current version of the UC47 form.  The form is widely used by landlords when applying for direct payment of the claimants Housing Cost.

The UC47 will be moving to an online version where the form will be completed and submitted online.

The post DWP Service Testers Required appeared first on Property118.

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Jan
16

UK House Price Index for November 2017

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House Prices:

The UK House Price Index (UK HPI) HM Land Registry shows house price changes for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to November 2017, the latest available data.

The November data shows:

  • on average, house prices have risen by 0.1% since October 2017
  • an annual price rise of 5.1%, which takes the average property in the UK to £226,071 England

The data for England shows:

  • house prices have risen by 0.1% since October 2017
  • an annual price rise of 5.3% takes the average property value to £243,339

The regional data for England indicates that:

  • the West Midlands experienced the greatest rise in average property price over the last 12 months, up by 7.2%
  • the North West experienced the greatest monthly price rise, up by 1.4%
  • the North East and London saw the lowest annual price rise, both up by 2.3%
  • the North East saw the most significant monthly price fall, down by 1%

See the full UK House Price Index for November 2017

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – UK House Price Index for November 2017 | LandlordZONE.

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Jan
16

SIPP in the context of reducing the agony of Section 24 tax changes

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I wonder whether anyone has thought of putting money into a SIPP to mitigate some of the fallout of the way that mortgage expenses are to be accounted for from the current tax year. I appear to be hit hard.

The post SIPP in the context of reducing the agony of Section 24 tax changes appeared first on Property118.

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Jan
16

What expenses can I actually claim?

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Tax Return 2016-2017:

As a general rule, and as outlined in the previous articles in this series on tax returns, landlords can claim the expenses of running and maintaining their rental properties.

If the rent you charge includes additional services like water, or council tax, heating bills you will need to account for the full rental rent you actually charge, as your income.  But you can then claim the costs as an expense against this income as allowable expenses.

The list below is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Seek professional advice before submitting a tax return if you are not sure.

List of allowable expenses for an operating letting business

General maintenance and repairs, such as:

  • Repairing water or gas leaks, burst pipes
  • Repairing electrical faults
  • Replacing broken windows, doors, gutters, roof slates/tiles (but not a whole roof)
  • Repairing internal and external walls, roofs, floors
  • Repainting and redecorating (but not improving) the property to restore it to its original condition
  • Treating damp or rot (but putting in a damp course is an improvement and not allowed)
  • Re-pointing, stone cleaning
  • Hiring equipment to carry out necessary repair work
  • Labour costs of these works (but not if you do the work yourself)
  • Replacing existing fixtures and fittings, such as radiators, boilers, water tanks, bathroom suites, and kitchens, but not electrical or gas appliances
  • Gardening and cleaning costs

Replacing domestic items, including:

  • Kitchen crockery and utensils
  • White goods such as washing machines and other appliances
  • TVs
  • Curtains, carpets and other floor coverings, beds and freestanding wardrobes, atongwith the cost of getting rid of the old ones and having the new ones delivered, minus any money you make selling the old items
  • Bills such as water rates, council tax, gas and electricity that you pay
  • Letting agent and management fees
  • Any landlord licence or registration fees charged by the council or local authority
  • Gas safety checks
  • Lease extensions of up to 50 years
  • Costs incurred evicting a tenant
  • Service charges, for exam pie, on blocks of fiats
  • Water and other utility bills that you have to pay in between tenants, as long as the property is still available for renting
  • Replacing a kitchen or bathroom of the same standard and layout
  • Petrol/travel costs, but only if the sole purpose of the visit is related to your letting business and you tan only claim the actual cost of the journey, or, from April 2017, a cost of 45p per business mile
  • A proportion of your household and stationery bills
  • Replacing or repairing parts of the property that are broken or damaged, as long as it’s like for like and not an improvement
  • All Subject to HMRC’s interpretation on a case-by- case basis.

The start-up costs

Generally, items purchased when setting up a property for letting for the first time – the initial purchases – are classed as capital items. This is the case before letting commences even when they replace existing items, such as carpets for example.  They cannot be claimed against revenue because they will fail the replacement test.

The first tax return after letting is an important one as these initial purchase items need to be separated out and a long-term record kept of their cost. These costs can be set-off against capital gains when the asset (house) is sold. It is important therefore to keep good accounting records, with all invoices filed away safely, because the house many not be sold for many years and otherwise more capital gains tax (CGT) would be paid than is necessary.

HMRC says: “An item purchased for the first time does not qualify for any relief.” These same rules apply to repairs to the property and improvements before letting commences, they are all classed as capital expenditure.

Landlords may see these rules as unfair, but unsurprisingly the government does not see why it should burden the taxpayer with improving the lot of the entrepreneurial landlord when she buys a rundown property at a bargain price.

Some exceptions to the pre-letting rules include claims for new letting costs including marketing the property, letting agent’s fees, and for pre-letting gas and electrical safety checks. However, any work required following and as a result of these checks is not be allowed.

There are some caveats regarding initial purchases and repairs where costs can in fact be claimed. As this area is quite complex the following may require professional (accountant’s) advice and clarification.

Where a property is in a tenantable (habitable) state when it is purchased, then any subsequent repairs should be allowed. This is obviously one of those “grey” areas, but if the tenant will take the property regardless of a relatively minor defect, such as a loose gutter or roof slate, then any subsequent repairs should be allowed.

The work should pass the repairs test as it is non-essential to the tenant, it does not improve the property in any way, it fully qualifies as repairs, it is wholly and exclusively for the property lettings business, and is definitely not capital expenditure.

Also, for landlords with more than one property, already operating a lettings business, repair costs incurred setting up a second or subsequent properties for letting, should be allowed as deductible expenses, unlike those costs incurred leading up to the first letting.

The difference between capital and revenue costs is a complex area as testified by HMRCs over 100 pages in its operating tax manual on business income, and the long-running Odeon Cinema’s battle with HMRC – Odeon Associated Theatres Ltd v Jones

Examples of what can and cannot be claimed for:

  • A portfolio landlord employing someone, including a relative, to manage and carry out repairs is claimable, but they must go through a proper payroll – on a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) basis, they will need to declare the income they receive to HMRC, and they will be entitled to register for employee pension contributions.

Most of the following cannot be claimed:

  • Landlords can’t claim for their own time either operating as a landlord, or doing repairs. All claims must be backed by a legitimate invoice.
  • Any capital items of expense, including things like building an extension or conservatory, adding a garage, fitting a burglar alarm etc. cannot be claimed against revenue.
  • Upgrading or improving internal items, fittings furniture and appliances, cannot be the subject of a claim unless replacing with like-for-like costs.
  • Extending a lease in excess of 50 years.
  • Any expenses not wholly or exclusively for the letting business of or a tenuous nature, such as business suits, computers, phones or cameras etc.
  • New items, repairs and replacements or work done to meet legal obligations prior to a first rental property letting.
  • Any work that adds value to the property asset.
  • Any work done preparing a rental property for sale, when vacant.

Submitting a Claim for Expenses

If you are doing this yourself you need to be confident that you have understood the rules pretty well, to be sure that your expenses are allowable. Pushing them through willy-nilly will risk an investigation, and possibly punitive fines if you are found to be in the wrong.

If you have a strong argument backed by good evidence and can show that you have applied HMRC’s own guide lines you should be in the clear – use the HMRC Property Rental Toolkit and the Property Income Manual – links below. Remember, ignorance of the rules is no excuse and it is your responsibility to understand them if you are not using a tax adviser.

Finally, this information applies to non-incorporated landlords. If you operate through a limited company your tax affairs will be become more complex, and you will need an accountant to deal with the annual company accounts. Instead of paying income tax on your rental income, you’ll need to file company accounts and pay corporation tax on your profits.

The Self-Assessment Tax Return, HMRC Form SA100, and Property income supplementary – HMRC Form SA105 – available here

Declaration of beneficial interests in joint property and income – HMRC Form 17

Filing your tax return online here

Free LandlordZONE Excel Tax workbook tool – download it here

Next Article in the series – Mortgage Tax Relief?

HMRC is increasing its targeted compliance activity across the private rented sector through taskforce activity – see HMRC – Tackling the Hidden Economy

HMRC says it is encouraging those who have been non-compliant to come forward through activities such as the Let Property Campaign

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – What expenses can I actually claim? | LandlordZONE.

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Jan
15

‘Rumble’ returns for the fourth year

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Charity Boxing Event:

Having raised more than £58,000 for local charities across the last three events, ‘Rumble with the Agents’, the white-collar charity boxing event which was set up in 2015 by founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, will return for a fourth year.

Now a permanent fixture in the property event calendar, the team are once again looking for individuals of all ages and abilities who would like to try their hand at boxing, perhaps challenge themselves to get fit for New Year and help raise money for this year’s chosen charity, Cherry Care Cancer Lodge.

Cherry Lodge Cancer Care is an independent charity committed to improving the quality of life for people living with cancer, their carers, family and friends.  The charity works alongside the clinical care of the NHS in an area centred on Barnet and covering much of North London and South Hertfordshire.  However, less than 5% of their running costs are covered by NHS and local government grants, meaning they rely predominantly on fundraising, volunteering and donations.

The evening will consist of five fights, which will be three two-minute rounds each, a sit down three-course meal with unlimited drinks, an auction and raffle.  Special guests already confirmed for the evening include ex-professional European champion boxer, Spencer Oliver, and EastEnders actor and star of Strictly Come Dancing, Jake Wood.

Participants are not required to have any previous experience as a fully structured and supervised boxing training program will be provided by BOXR in north London, which emerged from a gym where boxing champions such as Anthony Joshua and Derek Chisora learnt their craft.  With some places already taken, remaining spaces are on a first come first serve basis.

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Acton, commented: “Boxing has always been a personal passion and a sport I take part in myself to keep fit. I didn’t set out for this to become an annual event, but the support it has received over the years from my industry peers means we have raised an incredible amount of money for local charities in need, and this has cemented my decision to keep making it bigger and better.”

Rumble with the Agents 2018, hosted by Landlord Action and in association with Hamilton Fraser, will take place on Thursday 24th May 2018 at Holiday Inn, Avenue Banqueting, 58 Regents Park Road, London, N3 3JN.

To find out more, volunteer to take part, buy tickets or donate something for the raffle/ auction please email Rita Shamplina on info@rumblewiththeagents.co.uk or call 07790 569501.

Tickets to attend ‘Rumble with the Agents’ are now on sale (www.rumblewiththeagents.co.uk).

Landlord Action is a UK based organisation helping landlords, letting agents and other property professionals. As a champion for landlords, it has campaigned extensively and was instrumental in getting the law changed to make squatting a criminal offence.

It was founded in 1999 as the first ever fixed-fee tenant eviction specialist, they revolutionised this area of legal practice. They have now acted in more than 35,000 problem tenant cases and are considered the authority in this field.

Landlord Action run a free advice line to help landlords and property professionals understand their rights: 0333 321 9415

www.LandlordAction.co.uk

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – ‘Rumble’ returns for the fourth year | LandlordZONE.

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Jan
15

‘Rumble’ returns for the fourth year

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Having raised more than £58,000 for local charities across the last three events, ‘Rumble with the Agents’, the white-collar charity boxing event which was set up in 2015 by founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, will return for a fourth year.

The post ‘Rumble’ returns for the fourth year appeared first on Property118.

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Jan
15

Government backs Bill giving tenants powers to sue landlords for unfit properties

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Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Housing, announced yesterday his Government’s support for new legislation proposed under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill 2017-19.

The Private Members’ Bill brought forward by Labour MP

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Jan
15

Landlord wants us to sign tenancy agreement for more than we pay?

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Our Landlord has just remortgaged and said he needs to prove he is getting a higher rent than we actually pay.

He wants us to go to agent and sign a new agreement for a higher rental amount

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