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Budget Targets Landlords

Budget Targets Landlords

Was The Budget Really That Much Of A Surprise?

The first Conservative budget for 20 years was expected to be good for Britain; however, the reality was not what many landlords wanted to hear.

The decision to target private rental sector landlords and property investors wasn’t too much of a surprise, as the Government can plainly see where the profits are being made and they, like all the rest of the political parties, want a slice.

On the run up to the general election in May 2015 every other political party openly stated that they intended to target landlords, whilst the conservatives remained quiet, prompting a few political commentators to predict that policies would be introduced surreptitiously that would effectively put money into Government coffers.

That’s exactly what we got last week!

The key points that affect landlords from George Osborne’s budget statement include:

Benefit Cap Lowered To £20,000 (GBP)

The total amount of benefits a family can receive over the course of a year has been reduced from £26,000 (GBP) to £20,000 (GBP) – (£23,000 in London).

This is a particular concern for landlords as any loss of income from the reduced benefit cap will hit tenants’ housing benefit first.

Many private rental sector landlords are now worried about increased rent arrears and the probability that many areas of the UK will become unaffordable for large families to live in.

The Government have said that they will allocate £800 Million (GBP) of discretionary housing payments for councils to help affected tenants.

Housing Benefit Abolished For Under-21s

From April 2017 the automatic entitlement to housing benefit for 18- to 21-year-olds will be scrapped for new claimants.

Exceptions will be made for vulnerable young people, including those unable to return to their family home and claimants who were in work for six months prior to making a claim.

Working-Age Benefits Frozen For Four Years

The freeze means Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will fall further behind inflation as the chancellor seeks to stop the housing benefit bill soaring with increasing rents.

Buy To Let Landlord Mortgage Relief Cut

In a £2bn tax bombshell, from April 2017 landlords will no longer be able to claim tax reliefs worth 40% or 45% of the interest payments on their buy-to-let mortgages. Instead, the maximum tax relief will be set at 20%, although the change will be introduced over a four-year period.

Effectively it looks as though 40%/45% taxpayers will only get around half of their mortgage interest (and arrangement fees) offset against their rental income.

20% taxpayers shouldn’t see much change as all mortgage relief will be limited to the basic rate of income tax.

The effect of this will be staged meaning that

  • 25% of this extra tax will be payable on profits made in the April 2017 – April 2018 tax year,
  • 50% in April 2018 – April 2019,
  • 75% in April 2019 – April 2020
  • 100% in April 2020 – April 2021 meaning that the full effect of this change won’t be felt until the January 2022 personal tax bill is due.

Despite the staged introduction many PRS landlords have warned that this could see costs passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents.

Wear And Tear Allowance Tightened

Landlords will have to prove they have improved or maintained their rental property before they can deduct the costs from their taxed profits.

Currently, landlords can deduct 10% of the rent from their profits to account for wear and tear regardless of whether they have improved the property or not.

From April 2016 this is set to be replaced by a new system that only allows landlords to get tax relief when they replace furnishings.

Changes To Non-Domicile Rules

This change in entitlement could affect property investment and buy to let, particularly in London as people born in the UK to parents domiciled here will not be able to inherit non-dom status and people will not be able to have permanent non-dom status.

Anyone resident in the UK for 15 of the last 20 years will have to pay full UK tax.

Rent A Room Tax Free Income Threshold Raised

After 18 years, the Rent A Room tax free income threshold is being raised to £7,000 (GBP) per year. There are an estimated 19 million empty bedrooms in owner-occupied properties in England alone. Freeing up just 5% of those rooms would accommodate 1 million people. This move will also fuel the growth in short, informal lets such as the type offered by Airbnb and the like.

The tax reliefs that have been cut by Mr Osborne were hugely important for landlords in being able to offset other astronomic property costs such as lettings agent fees, landlord insurance, maintenance and repairs costs, as well as council tax.

It is still early days and we need to see how HMRC will implement some of these changes, because they may also try to find additional ways to stop property investors and landlords from profiting from property, however, there are ways to get around some of the changes introduced, including:

Tax Relief

Limited (Ltd) companies appear to be excluded from the mortgage relief cuts meaning that property investors and landlords could potentially look to purchase their future investment properties through Ltd companies.

Buy To Let mortgage lenders could become more open to this method of purchasing properties similar to the way that commercial lenders already facilitate.

Landlords who already own properties personally or in a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) may want to transfer them to a Limited (Ltd) company; however, they will be subject to capital gains tax and stamp duty.

An alternative method to transfer property ownership whilst retaining the current mortgage would be by using a deed of trust, which would transfer the beneficial ownership to a Ltd company. A good solicitor can draw one of these up for you.

Property investors and landlords could also switch their focus slightly and purchase more properties that need refurbishments.

As long as the property is in a habitable condition when purchased but still needs redecoration and comes into the lettings market before the refurb is done, most repairs such as kitchens, bathrooms, paint etc can be offset against all property income from a whole rental portfolio.

Bird_OldLadyWe will always try to keep our sector alive and rents affordable as we are providing services to people who need them, we don’t set out to rip people off, we’re not politicians, we are the ones who take the financial risks, we’re the people who provide housing and it’s our name on the deeds not yours.

You see Mr Osborne, whilst you may think that you are being clever and are tapping in to wealth generated by other people’s hard work and risk taking, well, we as landlords won’t be beaten!

UK Property Investment Increases 8% In A Year

UK Property Investment Increases 8% In A Year

UK Property Investments Rise By 8% During 2014

UK property investment is booming again, thanks in part to the Government changes to the way pensions are controlled. The changes allow interested property investors to release pension funds for property purchases early, because bricks and mortar continue to offer a greater return than pension funds currently provide.

Property investment in the UK is becoming even more popular with the number of property investors increasing by 8% during the past year, according to data recently released by letting agent, Ludlow Thompson, with landlord numbers rising to approximately 1.63 million controlling approximately 3.1 million private rental sector (PRS) properties in the UK. 

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High Court Judges Lose Perks In Lodgings

High Court Judges Lose Perks In Lodgings

High Court Judges Have Perks

Cut By Lord Chancellor

The perks enjoyed at the grand residences and high end lodgings used by High Court judges when they are not hearing cases in London’s High Court are being scrapped by Chris Grayling, the Lord Chancellor.

High court judges are feeling the pinch as they have had their Sky broadband deals cancelled in the latest effort to save money.

The High Court judges get to stay in 32 publicly-funded lodgings, from penthouse flats to Georgian town houses across England & Wales when hearing cases and the latest cost cutting move has provoked a great deal of anger among the judges, who once enjoyed all the perks of gentlemen’s clubs and were waited on hand and foot when they were on the judicial circuit hearing cases outside of London.

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Hype surrounds 2013 Mortgage Figures

Hype surrounds 2013 Mortgage Figures

2013 started with claims that the UK had recorded the best lending on mortgage figures in five years, but these claims by the UK Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) are being disputed.

According to the CML, a total of 38,300 loans were advanced for residential property purchases in January, the highest for the month since 2008 when 47,800 loans were advanced. The January performance came despite a marked drop from December 2012 when 45,900 mortgage loans were advanced.

Now critics have suggested that the CML’s mortgage figures were pure hype and speculation as mortgage approvals, and not actual monetary advances, were actually down in January this year, and no figures were released for the UK Buy To Let mortgage market for the same time frame.

Mortgage figures for approvals on residential property purchases appeared to be up 11% compared with January 2012 when there were 34,600 mortgage loans approved for residential property purchases and activity by first-time buyers and home movers both increased.

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Join the PIN Mastermind Finalists LIVE

on Friday 22nd March at 11:30am For Free!

PIN Founder Simon Zutshi

PIN Founder Simon Zutshi

Simon Zutshi’s Mastermind Programme has been running since 2007 and over 700 property investors have now completed this amazing, life changing programme.

The goal of the Mastermind Programme is to achieve £1,000,000 (GBP) in property with £50,000 (GBP) of cash-flow in 12 months, and many go way beyond this.

Free Web Access To The Last Day Of PIN Mastermind 11For every Mastermind group, Simon likes to celebrate and share the top 5 success stories so everyone can benefit.

On the final day of Mastermind Simon invites these property investors [many of whom started with no property only 12 months before] to take to the stage and share their story of the past 12 months, including:

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This is meant to be private, but it’s the start of a new year, and we exist to help property investors find the resources they need to profit from property, so let’s not waste time!

Register for YOUR Unfair advantage NOW!

The Top 7 Property Predictions for 2013 – Exposed -Register for YOUR Unfair advantage NOW!

Here at MyPropertyPowerTeam, we want YOU to start 2013 fully armed, so you can smash those property investment resolutions and show the world that you have the knowledge to succeed as a successful property investor. 

So its time to gain a really unfair advantage!..

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UK Funding For Lending Scheme Flops

UK Funding For Lending Scheme Flops

The UK Government initiative to get banks lending again has become a bit of a laughing stock according to some economists.

The funding for lending scheme (FLS) was dubbed a “white elephant” after the first data showed that in the three months to the end of September 2012, just £500 Million (GBP) of lending was released by all the 35 banks and lenders signed up for the scheme, which was launched in August this year.

The funding for lending scheme was supposed to reduce borrowing costs for banks and other lenders, who are required to pass on the lower costs to their customers. But so far the lending appears to be lowering mortgage rates rather than helping small businesses.

Only six banks and building societies have used any funds from the FLS in the three months to the end of September 2012 and their net lending – which takes account of loans being repaid – was negative by £1 Billion (GBP) because customers repaid existing loans faster than new loans were granted.

At three banks, more loans were repaid than new loans actually taken out, leading to negative net lending at Royal Bank of Scotland of £642 Million (GBP) and Lloyds Banking Group took £2.7 Billion (GBP) from the economy during the third quarter while Santander removed £3.4 Billion (GBP).

The biggest injection of credit came from Barclays at £3.8 Billion (GBP), whilst Leeds Building Society added £212 Million (GBP) and Nationwide Building Society £1.8 Billion (GBP).

Bank of England's Funding For Lending Scheme Beginning To Have Effect

Bank of England’s Funding For Lending Scheme Beginning To Have Effect

The £80 Billion (GBP) Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), launched in August by the Bank of England (BoE) and HM Treasury, is starting to show signs of having a positive effect.

The multi Billion pound scheme designed to unclog the flow of credit to the UK’s residential homebuyers is having the desired impact as official figures show an upturn in mortgage approvals.

The Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) makes money available to banks on the condition they pass it on to businesses and households in the form of cheaper loans and mortgages.

The Bank of England have stated that the number of loans approved for residential property purchases rose by 2,103 to 50,024 in September 2012 and the number of loans approved for re-mortgaging increased by 1,860 to 28,343.

Meanwhile, unsecured consumer credit has also increased by £1.2 Billion (GBP) in September 2012, the sharpest rise since February 2008, including an increase of £307 Million (GBP) in credit card borrowing while the remaining £900 Million (GBP) came from overdrafts and unsecured personal loans.

Borrowers have faced even tougher times trying to take out a mortgage in recent months as lenders tightened their lending criteria even further, causing a drop in the proportion of mortgages approved.

The average interest rate on new mortgages also fell slightly, from 3.84% to 3.77%, offering some hope that the recent rise in borrowing costs may also be starting to ease.

Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, said that “More than 20 banking groups, including the five largest lenders in the UK, have signed up to the Funding for Lending Scheme, while funding costs have fallen by around one percentage point”.

However, Sir Mervyn warned the initiative was temporary and lenders would have to accept further losses if normal banking services are ever to make a return.

The reductions in borrowing rates have primarily been aimed at households taking out mortgages with low Loan-To-Value (LTV) mortgages. So they may not help first-time buyers (FTBs) much.

As mentioned last week, borrowers are still faced with some degree of uncertainty when looking for mortgages or credit as despite all the positive noises made by the BoE and the Government, banks are still fairly reluctant to lend.
Read last week’s top story here.

The simplest solution may be to become your own bank!

Properties across Greater Manchester including shops, offices, flats and a restaurant will come under the hammer in London on Thursday 24th May 2012.

The eight sites will be sold at a commercial property auction held by Jones Lang LaSalle.

They feature among a catalogue of 25 lots with a total guide price of £16 Million (GBP).

The properties include The Apple Building, Oldham Road, Manchester, which comprises 53 flats and has a guide price of £3.15 Million (GBP). The Lakeside Villas & Apartments, Blackley, comprises nine flats and 23 houses and has a guide price of £1.6 Million (GBP). Two shops at Stockport’s Merseyway development occupied by chain stores will be up for grabs with a guide price of £1.55 Million (GBP) along with a site on Great Underbank, Stockport, which is currently let to Lloyds estimated at £1.2 Million (GBP).

Salford office blocks Balmoral House and Sandringham House (£1.25m in total) and Windsor Court (£450,000) are among the lots. Lombard House, Cheadle, which is currently let to Countryside Estate Agents, and an Est Est Est leased restaurant on Manchester Road, Bury, have guide prices of £500,000 (GBP) and £475,000 (GBP) respectively.

For more information about the Manchesterproperty auction
Contact Charlotte Maynard Auctions Co-ordinator – Jones Lang Lasalle
+44 (0)20 7087 5497 or email: charlotte.maynard@eu.jll.com

The 2012 New Year Honours list, published on New Year’s Eve, is set to commend a convicted fraudster and founder of the Heron Group, a multi-million pound property empire, with a CBE for his services to charity.

The ex-con tycoon, Gerald Ronson, 72, was once the 14th richest man in the UK with a property empire worth over half a billion pounds. Founded at age 17, his portfolio includes property throughout Europe, including the famous London City skyscraper, the Heron Tower.

In 1990 he was ordered to serve a 6 month custodial sentence and fined £5 million for his part in the ‘Guinness Four’ scandal.

Mr Ronson was convicted of fraud for inflating the price of shares in the drinks company, Guinness, during a fierce takeover battle by Scottish group, Distillers.

Despite the criminal conviction, Mr Ronson will be honoured for his services to charity, with the CBE intended to show support and gratitude on behalf of the state for those who have made an outstanding contribution to Britain over the last 12 months.

Gerald Ronson, maintains that he did not act dishonestly in the fraud scam and has donated £30 Million (GBP) of his own money and raised over £100 Million (GBP) for charities including the Prince’s Trust.

Despite Mr Ronson donating all his shares in his property empire to Great Ormond Street Hospital and the National History Museum, some sceptics claim that such an accolade is a rehabilitation prize.

The knighthood has fuelled the gossip between Conservative and Labour MPs.

The Tories claim to have acknowledged those who support Cameron’s charitable aims for the ‘Big Society’, but Labour MP’s remain dubious about rewarding the disgraced property mogul.

John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw and Treasury Select Committee member claimed notable accolades for ex-criminals are a “disgrace” and also believes such awards show that “…when millions of families are struggling to get by, it’s the Tories’ friends in the City who get the rewards”.

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