Simon Williams

Registered with
Monday 11th July 2016

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 119

Simon Williams

10:07 AM, 31st October 2020, About A year ago

How do I transfer ownership of my rental house into my wife's name?

Persons wishing to make an outright transfer of a property to a spouse where the property has no mortgage, should consult HMRC guidance on the creation of a bare trust, which they will read with pleasure because it really seems to be very simple.

No need to transfer the legal title, or execute a deed or have witnesses etc. Draw up a simple document under which A declares a transfer of the property to B absolutely (ie without restriction) and the HMRC can "usually accept such a declaration." B has the beneficial interest and, says HMRC, is "entitled to the property and any income derived from it."

I would say the caveat "usually" will apply where HMRC consider the trust to be a sham e.g. where A transfers to B but A is still getting all the rents. Rents must go to B.

Don't take this as tax advice. Read the guidance for yourself. Personally, I don't think it could be clearer.

Note. If the property is mortgaged, that is a major complication. Stamp duty implications. Here I am only talking about transfers of unmortgaged property.... Read More

Simon Williams

10:49 AM, 15th October 2020, About A year ago

Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?

As is clear from Tessa Shepperson's advice, landlords who need to do so, really should not have a problem declining a tenant on benefits if landlords act smartly and apply tailored reasoning. Usually it is simply that someone else is better suited, not that the benefits applicant is totally unsuitable.
This whole issue is just an example of the chickens coming home to roost. If, as a government, you create a deeply hostile environment in which landlords have to operate, landlords will react by being more risk-averse. Inevitably that will impact negatively on the type of tenants who are the least well off - and no amount of anti-discrimination law is going to prevent that.... Read More

Simon Williams

13:41 PM, 23rd July 2020, About A year ago

Landlords - Don't complain!

The simple truth is that if you encourage more landlords to buy, you will encourage more developers to build. That means more homes coming on stream to purchase for every type of buyer. Furthermore, landlords have been very good at making efficient use of existing stock and they are the major clients at property auctions bringing back disused or dilapidated properties into the system and then renting them out. Supply levels actually benefit from landlord investment.... Read More

Simon Williams

11:15 AM, 15th July 2020, About A year ago

Chancellor requests review of CGT by the OTS

I seem to remember George Osborne, when Chancellor, saying that if they went beyond the current CGT 18/28% rates, they would probably raise less, not more, as there is a point at which people are discouraged from realising their gains. That is our best hope. the Government would love to get landlords paying more tax, but they know there are limits.

That said, it is almost inevitable that they will squeeze more out of us somehow.

In the days of Nigel Lawson, tax rates for CGT did mirror those for income tax, but this was heavily mitigated by indexation allowance that compensated for inflation and also you got investment taper relief whereby the longer you owned the asset, the more relief you got. so many property investors would have paid less tax than now. Lawson believed that CGT should not encourage people to hold assets only for short periods, which is what high CGT rates would do. It is not good for the economy when people are constantly churning their assets.

When comparing our rates with other countries, it is important to note that, unlike many countries, we are taxed even on purely inflationary gains right now. In that context, the rates are not generous.... Read More

Simon Williams

11:44 AM, 13th July 2020, About A year ago

Shadow housing secretary accusing Sunak of massive 'Bung' to Landlords

A reminder if we really needed it that Labour's hatred of landlords and wealth creation generally is as visceral as ever. Only the labour party can turn a policy to maintain an existing 3% surcharge into a "bung to second homeowners."
I don't think many landlords will rush to buy now anyway (so 1.3 billion figure quoted by Labour probably wrong) but in the days when they did, it meant more homes being built not less. Landlord investment provided the crucial early stage financing to encourage developers to start building and a new development thus created would provide homes not only to private renters but also to homeowners and not for profit renting under minimum affordable rules.
Nowdays, what has kept developers afloat in the absence of landlord money has been help-to-buy - arguably one of the biggest and costliest bungs ever (reported in 2018 to be costing the taxpayer £7.5 million per day).... Read More