April Property Newsletter
Landlords face £15,000 bill in ‘levelling up’ plan
The government has announced its “levelling up” plan to close the gap between rich and poor areas and to provide more opportunities to working people across the country. This is a long-term plan, with the aim to have all policies reached by 2030.
Part of this plan is to ensure that all rental properties are at a satisfactory level to create a fairer rental sector. Michael Gove, the secretary of state for levelling up, stated that he aims to halve the number of poor-quality rentals by 2030.
Although the specific policies have not been released, the information provided thus far indicates that private landlords will need to ensure that their properties meet set requirements.
Local authority properties currently abide by similar rules, however, it is unclear if the same standards will be set on private rental properties. If they are, then landlords of substandard properties could face bills of up to £15,000 to get the property to an acceptable level to rent. This comes as an additional burden to landlords who also have to pay for eco-upgrades as part of another government initiative.
More information regarding the specific policies will be announced by the government soon.
As many of you will be aware interest rates have started to rise. The Bank of England increased the rate from 0.25% to 0.5% on 3 February 2022 and then to 0.75% from 17th March 2022. With interest rates expected to rise again you must ensure that you are on the best possible rate. Mortgage offers generally last three months, sometime six months. Therefore, if you know you have a mortgage deal expiring we recommend you either contact your current mortgage company, or better still, speak to an independent mortgage broker to see what the best deals are available across the whole market. If you do not have an independent mortgage broker then please contact email@example.com as we have a number who we can recommend.
CIS pitfalls for property developers
If you are a property developer and you engage any subcontractors on your developments, then there is a very high chance that you will need to pay subcontractors that you use under the CIS scheme. The first step is to register as a contractor for the CIS scheme. Once registered you would need to verify each subcontractor for their CIS status and once they are verified you will be required to deduct CIS on the labour element on your subcontractor’s invoice, dependant on the subcontractor’s status. They could be registered for gross payment status where you could pay them gross and no deduction would be required, they could be standard rated where 20% tax would need to be deducted, or higher rate and therefore 30% tax is deducted on the labour. A monthly form will need to be completed and the total of the CIS deductions forwarded to HMRC.
There are some services that fall outside the CIS scheme, for example, if you were to “hire scaffolding only” then this would fall outside of CIS. Alternatively, if you were to engage a scaffolder to erect or dismantle the scaffolding then this would fall under the CIS scheme and potential deduction would be required. Here is HMRC’s guide for further details CIS: a guide for contractors and subcontractors
Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED)
Do you have a limited company that owns a UK residential property valued in excess of £500,000 at 1 April 2022? If so, then you will be required to submit an annual ATED Return to HM Revenue & Customs. If the residential property is covered by one of the exemptions, including that it is being let or it is a property development company, then there will be no tax charge. If it is not covered by one of the exemptions, there will be a tax charge. The deadline for the submission of the form is 30 April. If you believe that this applies to your company please ensure that you contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking ahead-making tax digital
Making Tax Digital (MTD) will become compulsory for landlords with rental income in excess of £10,000 from April 2024. Over the last few years we have been transitioning some clients to using software for their rental accounting to improve their systems and save time. With this in mind, and if you have not already done so, we would strongly recommend that you set up a separate rental bank account for your property incomings or outgoings. If you have already done this then great!
Once you have a separate bank account we will work closely with you to link your bank account to a software, like Xero, to minimise the impact of MTD on you. With the creation of bank rules for the largely repetitive transactions this should make your book-keeping requirement very straight forward. From our perspective this will also give us real time information so that we will be able to advise where appropriate of any proactive tax planning opportunities. There are also opportunities for us to be copied in on information you receive, for example from your letting agent. A number of clients already do this, and again we would recommend advising your letting agent to cc us in on any future communications to email@example.com
Record cash increase for UK properties
In the past year, the UK saw a record leap in house prices. According to Nationwide Building Society, the price of a typical UK home increased by £29,162 – the largest yearly increase (12.6%) since 1991!
This increased the price of an average home to £260,230 in February.
Demand for homes has caused property values to rise and the number of available properties for sale to decrease, meaning buyers are competing with one another more than ever before.
The rising cost of living is making it more difficult for people to afford their homes, but significant house price increases are continuing despite this. However, the building society is confident that the housing market will slow.
Some experts believe that Covid-19 had an impact on the demand, as many people changed how they lived and worked over the past few years. This led to a “race for space” amongst buyers.
Although this is great news for homeowners and landlords who can increase their rent, it is a hard hit for first time buyers – some of whom just managed to save enough for a deposit, only to be met with a price spike.
Energy prices soaring – What this means for your property business
The government announced that the energy price cap will increase by 54% in April. This means that energy bills will increase by £693 per year for an average household.
The price cap introduced by Ofgem is part of its strategy for ensuring fair competition between providers and reducing the impact of rising wholesale prices on consumers. With the cost cap, suppliers are limited in how much of this cost they can pass along to their customers.
As a property business owner, this may affect you in a variety of ways. With the cost of living already increased from last year, the impact of rising energy bills could potentially mean that your tenants could fall into rent arrears. In this case, you should discuss a payment plan with your tenants to tide them over until the summer when they use less energy. For HMOs or in tenancies that include bills, we suggest planning ahead to ensure that the rental amounts take into account the higher energy costs.
The government has been discussing ways to help tenants and businesses with the increases. We will keep you posted with any developments.
If you need any further advice regarding the contents of this newsletter then please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The content in this article is correct as at 21/04/2022. See terms and conditions.