Tag Archives: licensing

Birmingham City Council – “We support good landlords” Latest Articles, The GOOD Landlords Campaign, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Birmingham City Council - “We support good landlords”Birmingham City Council have sent a strong message to landlords who let in the city – We support good landlords

Senior officers of the city council have been in discussions with the West Midlands Regional Representative  of the National Landlords Association (NLA)  since 2011 when HMO licences were about to come up for renewal but it was not until the NLA proposed a radical new approach to the fee structure that progress was made. Continue reading Birmingham City Council – “We support good landlords”


Is landlord licensing a pointless exercise? Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Is landlord licencing a pointless exerciseIt’s time for me to share some controversial views on why I believe landlord licensing to be a pointless exercise I think.

Now don’t get me wrong, I hate the fact that a very small minority of bad landlords have earned our profession a bad reputation. However, it appears they might be a necessary evil too.

Allow me to explain. Continue reading Is landlord licensing a pointless exercise?


Labour plans for a National Register of Private Landlords Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association, Property News

labour partyThe Labour Party policy review paper indicated:

The Party is considering creating a national register of private landlords so that people found guilty of criminal acts could be banned from being landlords, by being struck off the register.

The review said there was a small minority of criminal landlords who deliberately prey on the vulnerable with Councils reporting up to 1,500 serial bad landlords. However this is out of a total 3.6 million households in the UK who live in private rented housing.

Jack Dromey, the shadow housing minister said “The private rented sector has an important role to play in meeting housing need, but too many tenants are in poor and sometimes dangerous homes. That’s why Labour has set out proposals to drive standards up and bad landlords out.”

The review also wanted to stamp out the use of “retaliatory eviction” against tenants who complain about the conditions of their property and chase HMRC estimates of £500 million of tax evasion by private Landlords.

Click Here to for full Labour Party review document

 

Chris Norris, Head of Policy at the National Landlords Association (NLA), says:

“The NLA welcomes the Labour Party Policy Review’s focus on ridding the private-rented sector (PRS) of the criminal minority who blight towns and cities throughout the UK. However, we are deeply concerned about the impact of the initiatives discussed on levels of desperately needed investment in private housing. Too often the brunt of regulation intended to combat criminality and bad practice is borne by the professional majority, while a minority of rogue operators continue to evade detection and exploit vulnerable people.

“We look forward to the opportunity to work with politicians on all sides of the debate to identify genuine solutions to the challenges faced by those living and working in the PRS. We believe it is essential that the debate addresses the problems which exist in the housing market, without neglecting the positive role played by private landlords.”

 

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) warns that tenants in England could soon be less well protected than their Scottish and Welsh counterparts, due to lagging rental regulation.

According to ARLA, with 36% of households in England now renting, regulation of the private rental sector (PRS) – or the lack thereof – is an issue that affects more of the population than ever before.

The Scottish Government will announce a review of its strategy for the PRS on 30 May, while the Welsh Government is due to introduce a Housing Bill before the end of this Assembly term, legislating for a compulsory licensing scheme for all letting agents in Wales, as well as a code of practice.

These announcements contrast with the current Westminster Government’s opposition to regulation of the sector. If this opposition continues, tenants in England are still at risk from rogue letting agents and landlords.

Ian Potter, Managing Director, ARLA, said: “The PRS remains an unregulated industry, and in the event of something going wrong consumers still only have limited options. ARLA has been calling for regulation of the sector for a number of years now, and as more and more people rent, rather than own their home, it is vital that legislation in England is at least in line with its neighbours.

“Of course we welcome the Labour Party’s latest policy review and share their ambition to improve standards in the PRS – the case studies the report outlined are a stark reminder of the unacceptable conditions that are thriving in the absence of regulation – but these reforms need to be proportionate. More importantly, what we really need is actual policy not proposals; and it must be policy that is consistent and able to keep step with legislative developments elsewhere in Britain.

“Renting should be a positive experience and tenants should know that not only is their money safe but so is the property they live in. All ARLA members must offer a redress service and client money protection to help protect tenants if something goes wrong.”

 


Immigration Bill checks to be light touch for Landlords Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Mark PriskThe Housing Minister Mark Prisk speaking to MPs on the Immigration Bill announced in the recent Queen’s speech confirmed the immigration status of tenants will only have to be checked under a light touch regime.

He said: “What we’re asking for is all landlords undertake that basic check to see people are who they are and they are entitled to be here.

“The intention is to make it light-touch. We’re working on the proposals at the moment and we don’t want to make it unduly onerous. The idea is to make sure someone takes a reasonable step to check someone’s identity and that would naturally be a passport.”

Landlords have been threatened with future heavy fines if they fail  in their responsibility to check their tenants have a right to reside in the UK.

When questioned over a National registration scheme for landlords Prisk said that this would not be likely, but selective licensing schemes could be more widely used. “If there’s a good argument demonstrated that a significant proportion of local authorities would welcome an extension, I would certainly be happy to look at the evidence.”

 


Capital Allowances – Tax savings for HMO and Multi Let owners Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Council Tax CalculatorPart 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:

Sussex Hearts Norfolk
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.


Capital Allowances – Reduced tax bills for HMO owners? Latest Articles

Calculator on refund formPart 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
•Student Lets
•Multi-Lets
•Professional Lets
•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.


Scope of Environmental Health – to incetivise tenants ?? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Hi all,

I would like to tap the experience and expertise of the community with regards to my local Environmental Health department.

Some history …..  I have a large building which is an HMO. I applied for a licence and the council came down and went through the building. The short version is that they said some of the rooms were too small and that I needed to convert one of the rooms in to a kitchen and some other works which I agreed to and had done.  Continue reading Scope of Environmental Health – to incetivise tenants ??


HMO room sizes – Does size really matter? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

HMO room sizes - Does size really matter?After having read a lot of articles that Mark has posted, some of which are very informative, some of which make me laugh out loud and some of which make me cry (as I have been in similar situations) I find I have come across something that has stumped me completely and hope the Property118 community can help.

My local council (Ceredigion) have changed the minimun space standards for its licensable HMO/bedsits/flats.  Continue reading HMO room sizes – Does size really matter?


Terry Lucking of Belvoir Lettings Cambridge and Peterborough GOOD Landlords Campaign Sponsors

The GOOD Landlords CampaignTerry Lucking of Belvoir Lettings Cambridge and Peterborough

I have been trading in lettings since 1999 with our offices in Cambridge and Peterborough managing just over 1000 properties.

The offices have 16 trained and qualified staff, are ARLA licensed with fully audited and bonded client accounts.  We are members of Safe Agent, NALS and The Property Ombudsman.

I sit on various council housing steering groups representing the PRS (most recently housing strategy 2011-2014 – next expected to be consultation over selective licensing and article 4 directions). I developed the property accreditation standards for University Centre Peterborough and also the Chair of the Peterborough National Landlord Association (NLA) branch (voluntary role) introducing NLA accreditation for landlords in Peterborough February 2013.

Continue reading Terry Lucking of Belvoir Lettings Cambridge and Peterborough


Smart investors go to Oxford Buy to Let Property Hotspots, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Guest article from one of Oxford’s leading letting agents

Oxford Property InvestmentI am often asked why Oxford represents such an attractive option for buy to let property investors. 

The answer is, like much treasure, not blatantly obvious, but if you are prepared to dig a little, the clarity of the jewels you may find are particularly alluring.

The city has been home to a transient population since the Middle Ages.  The intellectual elite continue to arrive here in droves from all over the world; a stint at Oxford, either for study, research or employment adds value to any CV.  During the early years, Oxford was a walled city, nothing much has changed, the new wall is the ring road, and represents an immovable barrier to the physical growth of housing provision, which places extra-ordinary strain on the supply and demand dynamic, resulting in a permanent state of insufficient supply. Continue reading Smart investors go to Oxford


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