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Change in Capital Gains Tax Rules for Non-UK Resident Landlords

Change in Capital Gains Tax Rules for Non-UK Resident Landlords

Change in Capital Gains Tax Rules for Non-UK Resident Landlords

Last month – 6th April 2015. the legislation concerning Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for Non-UK resident landlords came into force, which may seriously affect Non-UK property owners when it becomes time to sell their property assets in the UK.

Any sale of residential properties in the UK concluded before the date of the legislation change, whether the property concerned was a main residence or an investment property and owned by Non-UK resident, should not incur any additional tax charges. 

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Political Parties Focus On Housing In Attempt To Win General Election

Political Parties Focus On Housing In Attempt To Win General Election

Conservatives Want  Tenants To Have

Right To Buy Housing Association Properties

With the UK’s General Election called on the 7th May 2015 it is almost time to decide which of the political parties you will vote for.

Election campaigning usually sees a raft of ill thought out policy ideas being spouted by politicians in an attempt to win public support and publishing election manifesto’s that promise to deliver what each political party thinks the public want.

On the run up to the election Spotlight will examine some of the key statements and manifesto hype about the UK housing market and private rental sector used to influence public support.

It appears that all political parties will focus on these topics to win the hearts and minds of voters, regardless of whether the ideas are good or not.

In fact, housing will be one of the biggest issues facing the country at the General Election in May. Polling by Ipsos Mori suggests that the cost of housing is of growing importance to the UK public. In 2010 only 5% of those polled ranked it as their biggest concern but by 2014 this figure had almost trebled to 14%.

With this in mind, one of our reporters spotted this gem of an article in the Huffington Post written by David Orr, the Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation (NHF), entitled:

Seven Reasons Why Extending ‘Right to Buy’ to Housing Associations Is Plain Bad Policy

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UKAR Chief Executive Warns That Over 20,000 Customers Could Face Mortgage Arrears If Interest Rates Rise This YearUKAR Chief Executive Warns That Over 20,000 Customers Could Face Mortgage Arrears If Interest Rates Rise This Year

The chief executive of UK Asset Resolution (UKAR), who are winding down the loans of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, affectionately known as “Britain’s Bad Banks”, has warned that thousands of its customers could be pushed back into arrears if there is a rise in Bank of England (BoE) interest rates.

UK Asset Resolution (UKAR), seventh-biggest mortgage lender said last week that they had repaid £6.2 Billion (GBP) to the UK Government in the 15 months to the end of March 2014, meaning it had so far paid back £10.4 Billion (GBP) of the £48.7 Billion (GBP) it owed.

However, if there is a rate rise it could potentially make it harder for taxpayers to get their money back after bailing out the bad banks.

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More Severe Weather Warnings For UK Property Owners

More Severe Weather Warnings For UK Property Owners

Landlords Urged To Ensure Insurance Is Up To Date Before Severe Weather Hits Again

There was more bad news for property owners and landlords this week as the UK Meteorological Office (Met Office) has issued further severe weather warnings for the week ahead, bringing more misery for landlords and property owners in the South of England already seriously affected by flooding.

Met office staff have predicted a “Valentine’s Day Massacre” as the UK prepares to be battered by 80mph winds and more torrential rain on Friday 14th February, however there will be much more rain before then, with a slightly weaker weather front expected earlier in the week (Tuesday 11th – Wednesday 12th February).

Government departments, local authorities and agencies are working together to do everything they can to help communities at risk, but landlords are urged to check that they are adequately covered by specialist landlord insurance policies.

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Landlords and Property Owners Urged To Be On Flood Alert

Landlords and Property Owners Urged To Be On Flood Alert

Dont Be Complacent About Flood Risks

There has been a great deal of increased flooding across many parts of the UK in recent years and this has lead to an ongoing stand-off between the current coalition Government and the Association Of British Insurers (ABI) regarding flood insurance.

Private rental sector (PRS) landlords and private residential homeowners need to be more alert to the flood risks posed by rivers and an over-stressed sewerage system, and they should have adequate buildings and contents insurance in place to protect their property assets and personal possessions from flood damage.

However, a significant cause of property flooding appears to have been ignored…

Sewer flooding occurs when a main sewage system’s capacity is inadequate and strained due to flash flooding, collapsing drains or as a result of blockages caused by the inappropriate disposal of everyday waste, most notably toiletries and kitchen waste. As a result, surcharging sewers can occur at manholes or even within properties, through the unpleasant scenario of back flowing toilets.

Mark Taylor, Environmental Consultant at risk management consultancy, Argyll Environmental said: “Sewer flooding doesn’t typically attract the media attention evident in press coverage of washed out homes across the country earlier this year but its impact can be equally devastating to property owners.”

Typical damage caused by overwhelmed sewers include land and properties being flooded with water contaminated with raw sewage, an issue that alongside being horrific to clean up poses significant health concerns.

While many insurance companies will typically cover the cost of any flood damage and the clean-up, there are also preventative measures that can be taken by all property owners to reduce the risk of internal flooding.

Landlords and private residential home owners living in older properties in areas with antiquated sewer systems which combine both foul and storm water should consider taking preventative action.

To alleviate the risk of sewer flooding to properties, non-return valves can be fitted to sewage pipes. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to fit.

Non-return valves eliminate the backflow that cause up to 50% of all flood damage and also prevent other unwanted visitors such as rats from entering property from the sewers.

Equally, effective are watertight UPVC doors. Alongside reducing the risk of water and waste entering the property through external flooding, these are easy to clean and maintain, reducing the scale of damage if a flood occurs.

It is the responsibility of landlords, home owners, property investors and developers to find out who exactly is responsible for maintaining the sewage and drainage systems surrounding their properties and that adequate insurance is in place for sewers that are located within a property’s boundary.

Don’t Run the risk – Check Your Insurance Now!

 

UK Private Rented Sector Survey by MyPropertyPowerTeam.co.uk

UK Buy To Let Landlords Want More Properties But Are Unable To Get Mortgage Finance

A new survey of Landlords in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) has discovered that only 20.2% ( 1 in 5 landlords) in the UK, were able to add fresh residential properties to their existing residential portfolio stock during 2011.

Property value growth expectations and the prospect of a regular income were the key drivers behind the property investment trend and only the lack of available mortgage finance, and/or financial know how, held back even more landlords from adding to their property portfolios.

Out of all the landlord insurance customers interviewed, 85% predicted that residential property values in the UK would remain the same for at least the next 12 months and private sector residential rents were expected to be considerably higher in 2013.

London led the way, after 87% of respondents said they believed that rents in the UK capital would continue to rise throughout 2012.

The data is from the PRS Landlord Survey carried out among subscribers by MyPropertyPowerTeam.co.uk during the last quarter (Q4) of 2011.

The data also showed that 59% of landlords have been investing for more than 5 years would hold onto their property until around the year 2025, however, the average holding period for UK PRS properties was around 15 years.

The appetite from property investors in the UK PRS for additional property assets is still extremely strong and the UK rental market is seeing demand outstrip supply as private tenants seek quality PRS accommodation. The current rental trend shows little sign of abating at present, despite all the UK Governments welfare reforms.

The UK Private Rented Sector is currently buoyed up by a growing population that is spending longer periods than ever living in rented homes, similar to the continental norm.

Landlords are making use of insurance products to protect their property assets and even Rent Guarantee insurance to ensure regular monthly rental income.

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Don't become a rogue landlord

Don't cut corners when renting out property

The downturn in UK property valuations has lead many existing homeowners, some of whom are desperate to sell up, to consider alternative ways to cash in on their current property, without having to sell it below their expected valuations.

A fairly noticeable proportion of these vendors are choosing to become first-time landlords, rather than settling for a below market offer.

The prospect of more reluctant or accidental landlords entering the private rental sector (PRS) is not such welcome news for the UK rental property market. Ill advised or inexperienced landlords often make mistakes or cut corners in order to preserve cash flow or increase rental yield.

Any bad business practices can be perceived by some to be the actions of a rogue landlord, prompting Legal 4 Landlords to issue some general guidance advice for new, first-time and inexperienced landlords

All landlords need to comply with the current UK regulations and the following points are highlighted as essential:

• All prospective tenants should be thoroughly referenced and credit checked by a reputable agent, to ensure financial ability to pay the rent and gain an insight into the suitability and character of the tenant.
• Provide a proper Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (AST) signed by both Landlord and the tenant, outlining the length of the tenancy, amount of rent, date rent is due, and details of which government deposit protection scheme is to be used.
• At the start of the tenancy walk round with the tenant and conduct a detailed inventory describing the condition of all the fixtures and fittings of the property in detail, along with the furnishings.
• Gas appliances must be checked annually by a registered Gas Safe engineer and the landlord must provide the tenant with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate (CP12).
• The landlord should take out comprehensive Buy-To-Let or Landlord insurance to protect their property asset.
• All repairs should be fixed promptly and only use reputable tradesmen that you know and trust to tend to the property, this is extremely important if emergency repairs must be done at short notice.
• If using a lettings or property management agent remember to conduct Due Diligence on them thoroughly and make sure as a landlord that you are happy with their terms and conditions before appointing them.

There are currently a record number of people searching for suitable rental properties in the UK, meaning that would-be landlords should have no problem finding a willing tenant, providing their properties are fit to rent.

New and first-time landlords should note that letting a property can be stressful and time consuming, as well as a very financially and personally rewarding experience, and is an effective way of providing an additional income.

Prospective landlords will need to remember they are effectively starting a business that centres on property and must remember to treat it as such.

Legal 4 Landlords are the UK’s fastest growing Tenant Eviction specialists who also offer a wide range of useful services for landlords including Tenant Referencing, Landlord and Tenant Insurance policies and Rent Guarantee insurance.

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Landlords See Rental Profits Fall

UK PRS Rent is Now More Affordable

Rents have fallen for the first time in 10 months as landlords look to keep homes occupied over Christmas, but rents in some parts of the UK have bucked the downward month-on-month trend.

The typical rent in England and Wales dropped by 0.4% to £717 a month in November, the first month-on-month fall since January.

But despite the seasonal decline, the average rent for a property is still £25 a month more expensive than it was this time last year.

Rents have risen in all regions over the last 12 months, with London and the South East experiencing the fastest rises annually at a rate of 4.2%.

The typical monthly rent in London stands at £1,033 and in the South East it is £741.

Landlords are looking to avoid having properties vacant over the Christmas period, and are being less aggressive with rental pricing as tenant activity slows in the run up to the New Year.

Across the UK, the limited supply of rental accommodation means there will still be strong upward pressure on rents in the early part of 2012.

Rental demand has remained high as would-be buyers have been unable to get onto the property ladder, faced with having to raise large deposits or finding the terms of mortgage deals too restrictive.

Rents in some parts of the UK bucked the downward month-on-month trend

• London – Rents up 0.3%
• Wales – Rents up 1.2%
• Yorkshire & Humber – Rents up 1.2%
• West Midlands – Rents up 1%

The East Midlands saw the biggest drop over the month, as PRS rents fell by 2.2%

The monthly index, based on analysis of more than 18,000 properties across England and Wales, also showed that tenant finances improved slightly in November despite the squeeze on household incomes, with 9.3% of all rent late or unpaid, compared with 10.1% in October.

Even though a large proportion of current renters would be credit-worthy buyers were they able to provide a big enough deposit to satisfy tight mortgage lending criteria. These tenants are typically financially sound, and less likely to experience payment issues.

UK landlords without Rent Guarantee insurance can expect rental arrears to creep back up next year due to challenges to the economy generally, the threat of the Eurozone crisis and unemployment.

With the cost of moving into a home set to increase for first-time buyers (FTB) when the stamp duty holiday ends in March 2012, the strain on the UK Private Rented Sector (PRS) will be greater than ever, and the cost of renting will continue to increase as the new year progresses.

Legal 4 Landlords spokesman Sim Sekhon said: “UK landlords are in a strong position right now, however unless they take the appropriate steps to protect their rental properties and the income that they provide, that position will change as more regulation is introduced and the tightening of Government Fiscal policies begin to take effect in 2012.

Legal 4 Landlords know how important it is for landlords to protect their property assets. They have worked closely with providers to develop comprehensive Rent Guarantee and Insurance products for UK landlords.

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There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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