Landlords to be responsible for tenants tobacco tax evasion?

by Readers Question

8:25 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

Landlords to be responsible for tenants tobacco tax evasion?

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Landlords to be responsible for tenants tobacco tax evasion?

Just received the following from Local Landlords Association (Devon);

HMRC consultation on preventing tobacco duty evasion: property implications

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published a consultation on proposals to tackle tobacco duty evasion and other excise duty evasion. This follows an informal consultation in which several respondents suggested imposing a duty of care on landlords where there was evasion.

Property practitioners will be interested to note that the consultation includes two key proposals (in section 6):

  • That HMRC would write to landlords and landowners associations asking them to voluntarily add a clause to their standard leases prohibiting illicit tobacco trading and other illicit excise trading.
  • That there would be new legislation imposing a duty of care on landlords and landowners of properties used in tobacco (or other excise duty) fraud. They would be under a duty of care to ensure that their properties are not used to evade duty, and there would be a civil penalty for non-compliance with this duty.

There would be a defence for landlords or landowners who took reasonable steps to prevent future wrongdoings in their properties. For example, there would be a defence where:

  • The relevant lease provides for termination where there is any illicit tobacco trading (or any other illicit excise activity), and the landlord evicts anyone who subsequently violates these provisions.
  • Landlords conduct periodic checks on their premises.
  • The consultation also seeks views on what reasonable steps landlords and landowners could be expected to take to address the issue of illicit trade in their properties, as well as the possible sanctions HMRC could apply to landlords and landowners who had not taken such adequate steps.

The consultation will close on 12 May 2017.

Source: HMRC: Open consultation: Sanctions to tackle tobacco duty evasion and other excise duty evasion (17 February 2017).

Is this another case of ‘Passing the buck ‘ and making Landlords do the Job for the HMRC ?

Mike



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:31 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

That is ridiculous! You may as well make Landlords responsible for all criminal activity.

What about the legal right to quiet enjoyment?

terry sullivan

8:56 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

TTFO!

Sean Graveney

9:07 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

That's just ridiculous. The first clause seems harmless enough but the second one...

How can a Landlord give 'quiet enjoyment' to the majority whilst being expected to prevent this kind of thing, never mind actually be held responsible for it.

David Price

9:15 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

Quite right landlords should be entirely responsible for the behaviour of their tenants. And any child conceived in the property should be the financial responsibility of the landlord.
Mortgage providers should also have the same responsibility towards owner occupiers.

Alison King

10:03 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

Most tenancy agreements include a clause saying that the property must not be used for illegal activity in any case.

Dr Rosalind Beck

10:05 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

Absolutely incredible. How on earth are we supposed to know what our tenants are up to and on what planet does one group of completely innocent people get blamed for what another group of guilty people do? This is like an April Fools Day prank. Is it 'fake news'??

They would spend their time better getting the police to do their job properly. With our most recent cannabis farm debacle, the neighbours apparently told the police and the police did nothing. We only found out our house had been wrecked when we were evicting for non-payment of rent. Oh - but then again, presumably it was all our fault and we should be prosecuted. Needless to say, the tenant got off scot-free, presumably with a large suitcase of money.

Douglas Barley

10:18 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

Wake me up I must have missed a month it has to be April the 1st!!!

Gromit

10:23 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dr Rosalind Beck" at "03/03/2017 - 10:05":

....next we'll be required to go in and wipe their arses for them.

Gunga Din

10:24 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

Well I should be alright. I already empty the freezer on inspections, take the bath panels off, rummage around in all the drawers, empty cupboards, roll up and relay all the loft insulation, look in the toilet cistern, check every bag and suitcase I can find, lift a few random floorboards, shunt everything out from under the bed, and strip-search the tenant.

Don't we all?

David Price

10:30 AM, 3rd March 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Barry Fitzpatrick" at "03/03/2017 - 10:23":

Where do you get these excellent ideas Barry?

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