Are Private Landlords Soft Targets?Make Text Bigger
In this time of austerity, we must all put our shoulder to the wheel, do our bit, and pay our fair share. However, over the last few years with all the new requirements for Landlords and the resulting costs and additional work and some of the more recent developments, I wonder if Landlords are seen as soft targets for income generation?
It is well publicised that in addition to Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) certain Local Authorities (LA) are now requiring private landlords to be licensed before they can rent their property for which they are charge a fee. To add to this Lewisham Council, for example, intends to not only fine any property owners found to be committing an offence under the Housing Health and Safety Regulation System but also charged an administration fee for doing so. The LA sees both of these situations as a new source of revenue.
Some months ago, I heard on the News that Central Government was going to devolve the setting of Council Tax (CT) charges and allow Local Authorities greater control over its implementation. What I and perhaps other Landlords had not realised is once again private rental properties would be targeted by Local Authorities as a potential to increase revenue. For example, until now when unfurnished rental properties become vacant, the Landlord was entitled to claim six months Council Tax exemption. However, as from April 2013 in Richmond the Local Authority will only allow a Landlord to apply for a 25% discount on the Council Tax payable during vacant periods.
Water Authorities have been granted extra powers, they can now charge Landlords for water bills that should have been paid by their tenants and for vacant periods.
As from April 2013 the rules regarding the claiming of items such as white goods in unfurnished and part furnished properties can no longer be claimed back in the same tax year, but have to be depreciated over time at 10% per year in an effort to increase HMRC revenue.
If Landlords don’t take advantage of the Green Deal Scheme now, then in 2016 if a tenants ask for a reasonable improvement of their rental property, which could have been done under the scheme, the landlord will have to foot the bill. Further, once improvements have been carried out any new tenant must be made aware of the improvements and agree to the extra charges on their energy bill for such improvements.
I think the pattern is clear.
About the author of this Post
Syd Lewis has been a private landlord for over 20 years, he is an accredited member of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Sponsor of the Good Landlords Campaign, a full member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) and a Certified Electrical Portable Appliance Tester (NIPIT). He is passionate about what he does which is providing residential inventory services, PAT testing and marketing floor plans for Agents, Landlords and Tenants. Inventories start from £56.00 to find out more see:-
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