Martin Mills

Registered with
Saturday 4th April 2015

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 2

Martin Mills

14:33 PM, 30th December 2020, About A year ago

Mould with a Covid Twist?

We have a property that used to be a real problem. Black mould would appear every year requiring treatment and re - decoration in both bedrooms. I took the following actions: I supplied the tenants with a de-humidifier, I installed vents in the UPVC double glazing and I even tried re - decorating with anti - mould bathroom paints. The tenants (to their credit) stopped using an old tumble dryer which they vented out through a window and they bought a condensing tumble dryer. But, still the problem persisted. The game-changer was the installation of a PIV (Positive input ventilation) system in the loft. This system pumps the dry air from the attic into the upstairs landing, ventilating the whole property. The unit cost about £320 and the tenant and I fitted it into the loft together (he was a qualified electrician). A great example of a tenant and a landlord working together to solve a problem! Since then, we have had no condensation or mould in the house at all. A great result and the best £320 that I have spent on a property! I have now installed an identical system into my own house. Even though we get very little condensation; it's still good to keep a house well - ventilated and fresh, especially in the coldest part of winter. The tenant has since moved on, so, when my agent drew up a new tenancy agreement I insisted that a special clause should be that the system is turned on every October and turned off every April. Also that the tenant himself/herself is liable for the very small cost of the electricity to run the unit. It is a Nuaire Drimaster.... Read More

Martin Mills

17:24 PM, 29th April 2018, About 4 years ago

How do I claim back the 25% of Residential Finance cost under Section 24 when I am in a Property Partnership?

Dear Mark,
Thank you for posting my original query regarding how to claim back the 25% of Residential Finance costs not included in Finance charges. Thank you also for asking Neil Barlow to look at this on behalf of all landlords who have partnerships registered with HMRC.
Neil is obviously on the ball. Yes, the 25% figure goes in Box 1.40 on form SA801. Neil also provides a link to down load the new form SA800(PS). All landlords in registered partnerships need to know that this new form is the vehicle by which partners can lay out their share of profits (Box 19) and their share of the 25% of residential finance costs (Box 26). My understanding is that landlords who have a turnover of less than £85000 need not do a full partnership return if they complete the paper return SA800(PS). It took me two phone calls to HMRC to find out that they had created this new form. I have to say that the staff at HMRC are not particularly geared up to the changes that have come about since George Osborne gave us Section 24. Two have said to me that ‘this is all new to us’, even though the legislation came in two years ago… I myself am not a tax expert. But, just somebody who wants to get things right.
My wife and I are retirement/hobby landlords. We do everything that we can to provide quality housing for the young people that we let to. We like to keep our properties well maintained and build positive relationships with our tenants. We enjoy getting Christmas cards from our tenants thanking us for everything that we do for them! Like many of you, we are tired of landlord-bashing. This country needs a responsible private rented sector because successive governments have failed to provide adequate social housing and historically are to blame for selling off the housing stock that they had.
As Simon Lever rightly points out, as basic rate tax payers, my wife and I are basically unaffected by Section 24, but we do have empathy with career landlords who have seen their business models shattered. I believe that to target landlords in this way undermines all the basic principles of business, profit and taxation… Thank you George Osborne. Such a shame you didn’t focus your attention on some of the big multi-national companies that make such large profits and contribute little to our economy.
Returning to tax returns! I have posted off our partnership form SA800, with SA801 and SA800(PS) to HMRC. I included a covering letter explaining that, whilst we are in a partnership, we would not be declaring any profits in 2017/18 because, through the individual self-assessment process, we fail to see how it is possible to claim back the 25% of finance costs. Both our individual profits will be declared using the UK Property section of on-line self-assessment, whereby the 20% tax- relief can be claimed. Thanks to Neil again, I do understand that there might be software available to help landlords through the partnership tax return process, but personally, we would not wish to purchase them and, like many small landlords, we will continue to self-manage our properties, our accounting and our tax returns. I sincerely hope that HMRC will respond quickly to our query and look forward to updating readers with the outcome. With best wishes to all responsible landlords.
Martin... Read More