About Property 118
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), partially taken over from the FSA, is to collect the personal information from mortgage applications for use by its policy risk and research division to monitor the lending of banks.
This raises serious Data Protection act questions and we are also asked to trust another body Phoenixed out of the FSA who failed to monitor banking practices that lead to the near complete collapse of the UK’s banking industry.
The plan under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) will be to capture all the information supplied on a mortgage application, which if you have ever filled one out you will know contains pretty much everything about your personal, employment, income, spending, assets and credit details.
Under the Data protection act if you collect personal data the duties include:
- Only recording information required to complete the requested transaction
- The Information must be accurate and not of opinion
- The information must be kept securely and not used for another purpose unless requested to do so.
If this comes into force under new MMR rules in April 2014 customers will have no option as the Lenders will simply claim they have to pass on your data as it is a requirement to complete your requested transaction
For existing mortgages the FCA will collect the property’s postcode, an estimate of what it is worth and information on the current outstanding balance and any arrears.
It is not yet clear if Buy-to-Let mortgage information will be collected, but there seems to be no reason why this would be left out as it is designed to monitor the prudence and performance of bank lending.
The FCA said “the plans reflected its objectives to protect consumers by helping it identify risks and prevent harm, enabling it to make quicker and bolder decisions to keep the market running efficiently and promoting effective competition.”
“Any personal data we collect will be fairly and lawfully processed in compliance with the first data protection principle. We consider that in collecting the data we will be acting compatibly with the right to privacy. The collection of the data is necessary to achieve the aims set out in this consultation paper, and any interference with the right is proportionate to those aims.”
I am a Landlord and currently let out a 10th floor studio flat in Salford, a 2 bedroom ground floor flat in Hull and a 2 bedroom ground floor flat in Bletchley (Milton Keynes), using letting agents local for the properties.
The studio flat is fully furnished in a block with 24 hour concierge service. The other two flats, in low-rise blocks, are let unfurnished, with the option of being let furnished.
I have been a member of the National Landlords Association (NLA) since 2006 and live in Chelmsford in Essex.
I rent out a two bed property and a 4 bed HMO in Didcot to young professionals. The four bed should be available from July 2013.
I aim as a landlord to provide a good service for my tenants so that they stay for a long period- a win win situation! I am a member of the Residential Landlords Association
I am a Landlord and support The Good Landlords campaign
Scottish Conservative Housing Spokesman Alex Johnstone and the Scottish Association of Landlords have slammed the language employed by housing charity Shelter in its latest press release which called for letting agents to be regulated.
Commenting, Mr Johnstone said “It is ironic that Shelter uses terms such as ‘Wild West’, ‘cowboys’ and ‘flagrant disregard for the law’, when organisations such as the Scottish Association of Landlords, who also represent letting agents have been advocating change for some time.”
“Shelter’s use of such sensationalist language makes, in my view, sweeping and negative generalisations about the private sector as a whole. This kind of behaviour might well make vulnerable people fearful of seeking a home in the private rented sector, and it’s frankly not good enough. The fact is that the private sector is playing an increasingly important role in providing much needed accommodation, and they themselves are keen to provide a good and fair service.”
Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords John Blackwood said “For some time, SAL has campaigned for regulation of letting agents in order to protect both landlords and tenants. However we also recognise that many letting agents already offer good management services, ensuring that properties are managed properly and within the law.”
“Instead of indulging in this kind of negative sensationalism on the sidelines, I would urge Shelter to engage with those of us who do actually put roofs over people’s heads and see what we can achieve by working together in a positive and constructive way.”
Mr Blackwood concluded “It is disappointing that Shelter has seemingly abandoned its policy of working in partnership with the private rented sector in favour of demonising an entire sector where by far the majority of letting agents operate reputable businesses.”
Many members are expressing the viewpoint that SAL should take public action against Shelter. One letting agent who is a personal supporters of Shelter even saying he will now stop his donations.
Part 2 of 2 written by Bill Loryman
The first reactions from Property Investors hearing about Capital Allowances are that they sound too good to be true and that,”surely my Accountant has identified them for me?”
Well, firstly they have been around since 1878 and are not a tax loop-hole or tax avoidance scheme. If you own a commercial business property, including an HMO or Multilet, you are entitled to claim Capital Allowances for them.
Secondly, the process of valuing the likely tax savings has to be completed by Capital Allowance experts who need to send Surveyors into the property to assess the “plant & machinery” – fixtures and fittings – assets etc. that are in the fabric of the building. They then prepare a typically a ten page report, with photographs, plans and a detailed analysis of all the qualifying assets that will satisfy the HMRC guidelines on submitting Capital Allowance claims.
This is a very specialised tax service that many accountants simply outsource in order to help their clients. A specialist will help you submit a claim, or work with your accountants to work out how much tax and money you can save, either as a tax rebate or off-set over future years.
• You need to be a UK tax payer. The investment property can be owned by a Company or a person. Whether the tax band is 20%, 40% or 50%, the higher rate you pay the greater the tax benefit and savings.
• The minimum value of a property really needs to be £150k but total value of portfolio qualifies. If you are buying this year or last you can qualify for AIA (Annual Investment Allowance) of up to £250,000 which can help make the claim successful and give substantial tax savings.
• Your accountant will claim for the furniture and general repairs but Capital Allowance surveyors look into what makes the building work, so the hidden assets unclaimed in the fabric of the building, items such as heating installation, wiring, lighting, fire alarm systems etc. are all valued using Quantity Surveying rules that confirm to the HMRC guidelines on submitting Capital Allowance claims.
Three of our recent examples are shown below:
|HMO/Multi Let Purchase Price||£280,000||£155,000||£205,000|
|Capital Allowance Identified||£28,000||£12.500||£9,200|
|Net Tax Saved||£14,500||£3,500(refund)||£7,680(refund)|
Clearly everyone’s tax situation is different and you will need to discuss preliminary details in order to get an illustration of the likely tax savings such as property address, type of business – Multi-let, HMO, student let, holiday let etc, date of purchase and the price paid plus the value of any improvement work you have carried out.
When you (and your accountant) decide to go ahead an engagement letter to be signed which gives the authority to contact the Land Registry to ensure no previous claims have been made. The property will then be surveyed for qualifying assets and a full report prepared for submission to HMRC.
The whole process typically takes about 10 – 12 weeks and should always involve your accountants. Fees for this service are usually generated out of a small percentage of the claim value on a ‘no claim – no fee’ arrangement.
Bill Loryman is the Managing director of HMO Tax Limited and has 20 years experience in the property world involving franchising, licensing, acquisitions and property development.
If you would like an illustration form of your likely tax savings on your investment property please complete your details below.
Cambridge University, as Principal Developer of its £1 billion mixed-use scheme at North West Cambridge, is seeking residential developers in this opportunity to work collaboratively to create an urban extension befitting the city.
Setting new standards of quality and sustainability, the North West Cambridge development will be the first development at this scale in the country to be built to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 (residential) and BREEAM Excellent (all other buildings). The masterplan for the 150-hectare mixed-use development includes 3,000 homes (50% created and retained by the University as affordable homes for staff), 2,000 student bedspaces, a local centre with a supermarket and retail units, primary school, nursery, community centre, doctors surgery, hotel and senior living, as well as substantial landscaping and open space for recreation and leisure. The development is part of the University’s long-term growth needs.
Roger Taylor, Project Director for the North West Cambridge development, said: “The University secured planning consent for the scheme in February 2013, which includes the Section 106 agreement. The University’s commitment to community-building allows development partners to focus on house-building for the next generation – delivering exceptional quality in design and pushing the boundaries of sustainability. It is a superb opportunity for developers, large and small, to be an integral part of the first phase of Cambridge University’s single largest capital development in its 800-year history.”
Phase One at North West Cambridge includes four lots for market housing developers, presenting opportunities to develop a mix of apartments and houses from 65 units to up to 400. The University has a flexible approach to the configuration of these lots, and will respond to the credentials of each developer on merit and ambition.
North West Cambridge will be an exemplar of sustainable living. In addition to the ambitious building and design plans, the landscape and infrastructure intentions for the development will encourage people to lead sustainable lives through carefully considered measures, including a Green Travel plan. The University will provide site-wide features and infrastructure such as an energy centre, and water and waste management systems that will enhance the site’s sustainable characteristics. The majority of the public realm will be managed by the University’s Estate, with over a third of the site being designed as open, green space with extensive tree planting and other measures to enhance the local biodiversity and ecology of the site.
Works on infrastructure will begin this year with completion of Phase One due from late 2015-2016. A developers briefing will be held on 4 June 2013 in Cambridge. Development partners should register at www.nwcdevelopment.co.uk for the next steps.
Part 1 of 2 written by Bill Loryman
HMRC calculates that over 90% of properties have not claimed against their Capital Allowances. Recent changes by HMRC still mean that Capital Allowances can be claimed against the Plant and Machinery (such as fixture and fittings) or assets within the ‘non-dwelling areas’ of your property. These can be used to obtain a tax refund or to reduce your current year’s tax liability.
If you own a House in Multiple Occupation (Multi-let / HMO’s / Student lets), it is very likely that you are entitled to unclaimed Capital Allowances for the communal (non-dwelling) parts of your investment property and many of the associated fixed assets.
Capital Allowances have been around since 1878, yet they are almost never claimed, or often claimed incorrectly. In fact HMRC have said that over 90% of eligible properties have not claimed the tax that is due. Is your investment property one of them?
Anyone who has an investment property is entitled to claim these allowances.
•Key Worker accommodation
•Dentists / Doctors shared properties
•Licensed and unlicensed HMO’s
•Holiday Lets (UK & EU)
Capital Allowances – what are they?
They are Plant & Machinery allowances that relate to the tax relief associated with certain qualifying items, such as fixture and fittings or assets within the ‘non-dwelling areas’ of HMO, multi-occupancy properties and student lets/ halls of residence.
In each year that you buy a property, you can deduct up to £250,000 of your capital outlay (purchase cost) associated with these non-dwelling areas. Once these items have been identified, valued and documented, you can reclaim previously paid Income tax, reduce your current year income tax liability, or roll forward the allowances until such time when they are required. This is unlike normal rental losses which can only be rolled forward until such time that the property makes a profit, Capital Allowances claimed on the property, are ‘set-off’ against any income stream.
Part 2 will include details of who might be able to claim and the process.
Bill Loryman is the Managing director of HMO Tax Limited and has 20 years experience in the property world involving franchising, licensing, acquisitions and property development.
I have been a landlord for 14 years, and my portfolio consists of one 4 bed house, four 3 bed houses and five 2 bed houses situated in the Halifax & Huddersfield areas. I also have a 5 bed holiday let in the west of Ireland in a semi rural setting, with 3 separate living areas including a playroom, set on a large plot surrounded by fields and working farms.
I would still happily live in all of my properties and I think that is the key to my success so far. If you show someone round a property and feel you would-not bring your own family to this property then its time to upgrade the property or forget being a landlord.
I have a mixed bag of tenants from families to single people, some on housing benefit others working or retired. Applications and references must be checked in all cases. I now have a waiting list for upcoming vacancies, should any arise, some tenants have been in for 8 years plus. I am a registered gas & electrical engineer, happy to give any advice or quotes.
A new immigration bill that includes landlords responsibilities to check the status of tenants rights to reside or face large fines was announced today in the Queens speech.
“My government will bring forward a bill that further reforms Britain’s immigration system. The bill will ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute and deters those who will not.”
Downing Street briefings on the contents of the immigration bill are still very low on any actual detailed measures. The much publicised new duty on private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants won’t make any difference to EU citizens as they already have the right to live in Britain as do Britons in any other EU country.
The proposal may not however be workable without a register of private landlords and a compulsory scheme of residence permits or migrant ID cards. The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, could not explain how it would work and confirmed at this stage it was only about “announcing areas we are going to tackle” and government will provide further details only “when the time is right”.
However the vast majority of Landlords already carry out their own referencing which includes ID checks, voters role checks and employers reference where there is already a legal responsibility not to employ illegal immigrants. Therefore any new measures will likely affect only the few that don’t carry out checks already, or unscrupulous criminal Landlords.
Landlords in Scotland are urged to beat the deposit deadline and avoid huge penalties.
Over half of deposits for private tenancies in Scotland may not yet have been paid into a legally required tenancy deposit protection scheme – with just one week to go until the final deadline to sign up.
SafeDeposits Scotland, the leading provider of the tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland, says based on the latest figures as many as 56% of tenancies eligible for taking a deposit may not have yet had their deposits paid into a scheme.
According to the latest Scottish Government figures up to the end of March there are only 129,164 deposits submitted to a scheme – but there are 291,190 properties across Scotland signed up for landlord registration. (1)
From May 15 all deposits from privately rented properties must be secured into one of three government approved tenancy deposits protection schemes in Scotland, as part of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. The legislation has been phased in and May 15 is the final deadline for all properties. (2)
Glasgow based SafeDeposits Scotland, the Scottish Association of Landlords and the National Union of Students are now issuing a call to urge landlords to ensure they are signed up before the deadline to avoid facing financial penalties.
Director of Operations at SafeDeposits Scotland, Rebecca Johnston said, “These figures are to the end of March and while we would like to report a massive surge in the last month of landlords signing up to the scheme that hasn’t happened. We want landlords to know that we are here to guide them through this process. But there isn’t much time left. They must sign up to a scheme – or risk a financial penalty. No-one wants that.”
John Blackwood from Scottish Association of Landlords said, “While not all landlords will charge a deposit and more deposits may have been protected since the last count, the estimated figures paint a worrying picture about the potential number of properties not signed up.”
Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said, “These statistics seem to indicate that many landlords have yet to sign up to tenancy deposit schemes, which will be a surprise to student tenants who are expecting to hear shortly from the schemes how much of their deposit they are due back. Landlords are liable for huge penalties if they don’t submit their tenants deposits to a scheme, and we would urge them to beat the deadline and sign up. We also urge student tenants to get in touch with their landlords to confirm they are aware of the deadline and signed up to a scheme.”1 2 3 … 28 Next »