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Osbourne could restrict BTL Mortgages - EMPO Messenger July 2015

Article by Giles Inman on Jul 23, 2015 View in browser

Osbourne could restrict BTL Mortgages - EMPO Messenger July 2015

Chancellor George Osborne could crack down on the buy-to-let sector “imminently”. The new curbs would be on top of measures already announced this month, to scrap the wear and tear allowance and to limit tax relief on the interest of buy-to-let mortgages.

Osborne has now told the Treasury Select Committee that the Bank of England could be handed radical new powers.

These could include the Bank being given powers to restrict the number and size of buy-to-let mortgages.

The Bank of England has warned that a buy-to-let bubble could threaten the financial stability of the whole country.

Osborne said he had already asked Bank of England governor Mark Carney for a consultation.

Asked by MPS about a timeframe, Osborne said: “I think the next couple of months. I have just written a letter [to Carney]. It’s all imminent. It’s happening this year.”

The move follows a downbeat assessment by the Residential Landlords Association of the curbs so far announced.

It says that as a direct result of the Budget, 65% of landlords are now considering raising their rents.

New EMPO members June 2015

NG10 Property Services and Julian Bowen Ltd


Immigration Checks: Landlord fined in first right to rent case

A landlord in the West Midlands has been fined £2,000 after failing to conduct proper checks around a tenant’s immigration status.

The landlord concerned is said to be appealing.

One landlord in the West Midlands, Phil Stewardson, who owns 135 properties, said that local landlords were being used as “free labour” for border control.

He said: “If trained immigration officers can’t detect these people at ports and airports with their resources, how are we supposed to?”

Grantham Landlord fined for overcrowding

A Grantham landlord who rented his house to six people rather than the legal number of five has been fined.

Sanjay Patel owns the multi-occupancy home on Launder Terrace, which was only licensed to house five tenants.

He is now nearly £6,000 out of pocket after South Kesteven Council prosecuted him under the Housing Act.

Patel pleaded guilty at Grantham Magistrates Court on June 18.

Housing inspectors first discovered six people living in five 'households' at the property in July 2014. By September, the sixth person had left, but after a re-inspection in January 2015 it was again discovered to have six occupants.

Magistrates cited Patel as culpable for exceeding the numbers of households and persons at the property and the aggravating feature of the case being his financial gain for the period of time of the breach.

He was left with a £6,300 fine, deducted by a third for an early guilty plea to £4,200, £1,453.67 costs and a £120 victim surcharge totaling a bill of £5,773.67.

SKDC's business manager for environmental health Anne-Marie Coulthard said:

"Landlords provide a good services for their tenants in South Kesteven and those who own homes where multiple tenants live are more than aware of their responsibilities to never overfill their properties."

"However this case shows that landlords cannot simply ignore orders to not overcrowd their properties and we are pleased magistrates saw it fit to impose this level of fine."

"Our officers will always determinedly ensure housing law is strictly adhered to in rented properties to protect tenants."

EMPO Training in partnership with

Contact Adeela in the office for the full details and dates on EMPO landlord training courses in Lincoln and Nottingham

How much has your house price moved in 10 years?

Unfortunately compared with many parts of the UK, the East Midlands, particularly Nottingham City has performed badly. Check it out HERE

New consultation launched on scrapping the wear and tear allowance

A 12-week consultation has been launched by HMRC into the scrapping of the wear and tear allowance announced in the summer Budget.

Currently, landlords of fully furnished rental properties only can claim an annual allowance of 10% for general wear and tear

From next April, the Government plans to replace the allowance with a system of tax relief that will enable all landlords of residential property to deduct costs actually incurred on replacing furnishings.

The new relief would apply to landlords of unfurnished, part furnished and fully furnished properties, but not to furnished holiday lets.

Under the new scheme, landlords would be able to claim tax relief on “movable furniture” – for example, carpets, curtains, fridges, freezers, cookers, washing machines, spin dryers and TVs. The test appears to be that if you would normally expect to get it in a removals van, you would be able to claim for its replacement.

Integral fixtures, such as replacement baths, sinks, boilers and fitted kitchen units, would be outside the scheme.

The scheme seems to include the concept of ‘betterment”.

For example, if a washing machine is replaced by a washer-dryer, HMRC agrees that would be an improvement, but that improvement in itself gives no tax perks. If the new washer dryer cost £600 and the cost of buying a like-for-like washing machine would have been £400, then the replacement relief will be £400.

The new tax scheme may therefore discourage landlords, in the short term at least, from replacing basic goods with improved versions that tenants would prefer.

The new replacement furniture relief will also give relief for the cost of the replacement, less any proceeds received from the old asset that is being replaced.

So, if that old washing machine is sold for £200, the relief on its new replacement would come down proportionately.

The impact statement with the consultation says that the change is expected to bring in £205m to the Exchequer in its first full year.

The impact also says that the change will create an additional administrative burden for landlords, who will need to keep a record of their actual expenditure.

Comments close on October 9, with a response document to be published later this year and draft legislation published in advance of the Finance Bill 2016.

Click HERE for the consultation

EMPO has compiled a list of the latest proposed legislation government will be consulting on in 2015

  • the introduction of fixed penalty notices for housing related issues,
  • simplifying the possession procedures with regards to abandonment issues without needing to go to court
  • extending the existing measure around rent repayment orders to include circumstances such as illegal eviction
  • the requirement by landlords to issue tenants with the ‘How to Rent Guide.’
  • the introduction of a ‘Black list’ for rogue landlords
  • legislation to allow residential tenants to sub-let property for short periods of time.