Wear and Tear allowance changes for landlords proposed by the HMRC from April

The HMRC has revealed their proposals to change the current system, whereby landlords can currently claim 10% Wear and Tear Allowance on a fully furnished property regardless of if they have actually incurred any costs. From April 2016 they are proposing that this system be scrapped and landlords are able to claim the actual costs incurred instead, regardless of if it is fully furnished or part furnished/unfurnished, meaning that landlords will be able to claim for the full replacement costs of appliances. They will not be able to offset the cost of any improvement – so if a washing machine is replaced by a washer dryer – only the cost of a washing machine can be offset. The cost of the first appliance to go in and when a property is first furnished can also not be claimed for – it is only the replacement costs that can be offset.

The government are inviting comments in their consultation process, the full document and details of how to comment can be found here:

This is good news for those with part furnished and unfurnished properties, as landlords no longer have to decide whether their property is sufficiently furnished in order to be eligible for the relief, and owners of unfurnished properties will benefit from being able to claim for replacement appliances at last. However landlords of fully furnished properties in very expensive areas will be the biggest losers here, as on a rental of £3,500 per month they will currently have been able to claim £4200 per annum relief regardless of if they actually had to replace anything. In comparison to the replacement cost of a Bosch washer dryer for example at £650 and a few other expenses, this is not going to be welcome news! For the landlord of a studio flat rented at £850 per month, who would have claimed £1020 per annum previously, it’s a much more beneficial proposition.

Important details from the consultation document:

The relief will apply to landlords of unfurnished, part furnished and furnished properties. 

“The relief will not apply to ‘furnished holiday letting’ businesses (FHLs) and letting of commercial properties, because these businesses receive relief through the Capital Allowances regime. 

“The new replacement furniture relief will only apply to the replacement of furnishings. The initial cost of furnishing a property would not be included. 

“Under the new replacement furniture relief landlords of all non-FHL residential dwelling houses will be able to claim a deduction for the capital cost of replacing furniture, furnishings, appliances and kitchenware provided for the tenant’s use in the dwelling house, such as: 

– movable furniture or furnishings, such as beds or suites, 

– televisions, 

– fridges and freezers, 

– carpets and floor-coverings, 

– curtains, 

– linen, 

– crockery or cutlery, 

– beds and other furniture. 

“We believe that limiting the scope of the allowance to items that are provided for the tenant’s use in the dwelling house that is being let removes any opportunity to claim the cost of larger items used for the purpose of the property rental business, for example, cars. 

“Fixtures integral to the building that are not normally removed by the owner if the property was sold would not be included because the replacement cost of these would, as now, be a deductible expense as a repair to the property itself. Fixtures include items such as: 

– baths, 

– washbasins, 

– toilets, 

– boilers, 

– fitted kitchen units. 

“Landlords will no longer need to be concerned with whether the item being replaced is a fixture (and therefore a repair to the property) or not. In either case, the cost can be deducted from their rental income to arrive at the profits of their property rental business. 

“Landlords will no longer need to decide whether their property is sufficiently furnished to claim the new replacement furniture relief, as they had to when claiming the Wear and Tear Allowance. This is because the new relief will apply to all landlords of residential dwelling houses, no matter what the level of furnishing.”

Posted in News | Leave a comment

ARLA’s advice over short-term lets to householders

The Association of Residential Letting Agents has taken the unusual step of advising home owners how to take advantage of the new demand for short-term lets (classed as under 90 days).

UnknownWhilst Daisylets don’t tend to do many short term lets, it is becoming more and more popular, mainly with owner occupiers, vacating for short periods of time while their “guests” move in, or while travelling themselves. These landlords are usually therefore amateurs, rather than professionals, and advice from a professional body is overdue we think in order to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law and legislation!

ARLA’s tips to ensure best practice:

  • it is essential to check your mortgage or tenancy agreement to ensure you are permitted to rent out your property;
  • you should use a reputable agent, such as an ARLA-licensed one who will not only help with marketing and finding tenants but also ensure that all legislation is being met;
  • homeowners should use an agent to manage the property as well. “For landlords who are letting their property out because they’ve had to move away or are abroad, this will be invaluable in making the process as pain-free as possible” says the association;
  • ensure the property is in a decent condition, with a guide being to compare the state of it to how you would expect a hotel to look on arrival – clean and tidy with little clutter;
  • all furniture in the property needs to comply with the relevant safety legislation and vital safety checks will need to be carried out before you make the property available for a short let;
  • make sure someone visits it regularly, possibly even coming in every day to clean and change the bed sheets. “This will mean your property is kept in a good condition for when you return and also ensure that a short-term license does not become a full statutory tenancy” says the association.
Posted in News | Leave a comment

Daisylets sponsors the Heber School car boot sale

The 10th May saw flocks of bargain hunters at the annual Heber School Car boot sale this year, a lovely sunny day for it and the Daisylets boards drew in the crowds!

Heber Car Boot Sale

IMG_3309IMG_3317 IMG_3308 IMG_3307

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Dulwich festival Fair on Goose Green

IMG_3311This year was the 10th Festival Fair on Goose Green and Daisylets were once again sponsors for the event, giving out hundreds of pink balloons as usual and making the kids of East Dulwich happy! For the adults this year we gave out our Daisy Sales beer matts – kind of the opposite end of the spectrum :o)

We went all out this year to celebrate the launch of Daisy Sales and cracked out the daisy pink bunting and gave the Daisy car an outing too… a great day!

IMG_3329 IMG_3330 IMG_3319 photo

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Daisylets sponsored Heber and Goodrich School fun runs

As usual Daisylets sponsored both schools this year for their annual fun runs, well done to all the runners! Loving the Daisylets pink on the Heber shirts, one day we’ll talk Goodrich into putting our logo on the front too :o)
024A0272 024A0298 024A0332

024A0254 IMG_0265 IMG_0267

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Generation rent – Landlords wake up!

Over 48% of 25-38 year old households rent their home from a private landlord

IMG_2940The “generation renters”, forming a large proportion of society, now have a cause to fight, a purpose! Something lacking for the last few years for the “youth”.. when I was at college in the late 80’s’/90’s it was all about the “Socialist Worker” paper, CND campaigning and Poll Tax marches. This generation so far has had celebrities and reality TV to aspire to. It’s a no brainer to me that when a common cause comes along to unite under they (those who are not comatose in front of the TV and want to be part of something) will step up!

With organisations like Shelter and lobby groups such as Generation Rent giving them a voice, and their campaign “teeth”, landlords need to watch for shifts and possible changes in government and society, any landlords caught sleeping as regards tougher legislation/ housing standards etc will suffer. It pays for todays landlords to be on the ball, be informed – please either join the NLA, RLA or use a regulated managing agent, (like us of course!) that can keep you abreast of it all and make sure you are compliant. Tougher lines will be drawn by government  – whoever gets in at the next election – along with higher expectations from tenants, and only the tough and savvy amongst you will survive!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daisy Diaries in Absolutely Magasine – Dulwich & South East

screenshotThis month I visited the property of a soon-to-be landlord in an increasing category: ‘silver investors’. These are folks planning for retirement using funds from investment payouts. I soon had a sinking heart. It had so much potential – a newly refurbished property – but with so many mistakes that could have been avoided!

screenshotIf only they had consulted me earlier! I would have cautioned against the scalloped edged bathroom suite, patterned border tiles and yellow paint in the reception, in favour of minimal sleek lines, neutral colours and modern tiling. They have wiped out half their potential market in these trendy parts of South London in an instant!

Potential landlords thinking of refurbishing would be wise to seek advice from an experienced agent in the area that they are going to be looking for tenants in, before embarking on an expensive project, not after…

screenshot

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ageing property owners & a generation missed

People most likely to own their own home now are 65-74 years old.

920437The recent release of official data shows owner occupation on the decline and the younger generation struggling to own their own property – no shockers there then to anyone in South London with half an eye on the property market!

What’s interesting to me however is that half of the owner occupiers own their property outright.

Given that only around 50% of society now owns their own home and taking into account the level of property prices, it stand to reason that the 7.4 million that have no mortgage will all have bought their houses many years ago when they were much cheaper. This is backed up by the statistics from the Office of National Statistics that indicate the group of people most likely to own their own home now are 65-74 years old.

The last big push of first time buyers was in 1986 when 600,00 young people climbed onto the property ladder. 

Since the start of the millennium, when buy to let mortgages were also starting to become freely available, the numbers of FTB’s have dropped, falling to 200,000 between 2008-2010. The generation (including myself in this band here!) that wisely bought in the early 90’s is now seeing the benefits as the house prices have risen extraordinarily  since then, despite a fall for 7 years during this time.

On average the prices have risen 6.9% a year since 1980, the biggest rise in any one year was 25.6% in 1988 and the biggest drop was 7.6% in 2009. I think we are the last generation to profit almost effortlessly from property – until we all start passing it on to our children, when they will then get the benefit…? It’s a nice theory, but with our society ageing and the increase of dementia, we’ll all be spending it on care homes I suspect – either for ourselves or our ageing parents…! We are all living longer, it’s not unheard of now for two generations to be needing care at the same time.

Assuming we haven’t all had to spend it on old age care (or spent it on private education in London, when the kids don’t get the schools they hoped for) and our children do benefit at all after paying the inheritance tax, it will be after they really need a roof over their heads. They will then be passed the age we are now, and a solution to their housing needs will already be in place in whatever form. So maybe a generation of “silver” landlords will be created when they invest it themselves. All this misses out the younger adults in society right now altogether from the property market – either as owner occupiers or investors.

In 2012 only 65% of 35-44 year olds owned their own home, compared to 80% in 1991, and only 45% of 25-34 year olds compared to 65% in 1991. Three years on now and the figures will have decreased further.

It’s easy to see why Labour are targeting this large group of disillusioned “generation renters” in the run up to the election with their manifesto of rent controls and reforms. The younger vote has always been difficult to capture in times of apathy and they are now giving them a common cause to unite under. I would urge anyone in property to read up on the issues that will affect them before voting this year. One only has to look at Scotland to see that reportedly since new regulations came in and tenant fees were banned that rents have actually gone up and some business gone under.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn conclusion it’s obvious more property is needed to serve this new generation of renters and new decent spec skyscrapers are being put up all over London – with the East End and Croydon being most notable my myself recently and Elephant & Castle following suit with ambitious plans. In 2013-14 48% of 25-38 year old households rented their home from a private landlord, and this is steadily climbing. 19% of the total households were renting privately in this period, overtaking the social housing sector at 17%. Property is still a good place to invest, and there will be plenty more on the market if you favour new build properties, and have the stomach for a long term investment and lots of red tape!

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Southwark proposes licensing of rental properties

I am pasting this letter from Southwark Council to me here so all can access it and go online and register their distaste to these proposals.

If brought in, some landlords, if their property happens to be on certain roads off of Lordship Lane, will have to pay a fee, per bedroom, per property, per year in order to get the license.

They say it is to do with better control of ASB and keeping an eye on the standard of rental properties, but they don’t have the money or resources to police it – so in reality, it’s just another tax and the rogue landlords will get away with it as usual and the good ones will pay up yet again. Please take the time to complete their survey and register your concerns.

Southwark is currently in consultation on our proposals to extend licensing in the private rented sector.  We are writing to wide range of people, businesses and organisations who might have an interest in our proposals to encourage as many responses as possible.

If you have responded, thank you but we have decided to send out a reminder to make sure you are aware that our consultation is about to close.

We have extended the consultation end date to 14 March 2015. We want to gather as many views as possible, and want to know what people who may be affected by our licensing proposals think, including people who live outside of Southwark but might be affected.

A quarter of all the people in Southwark live in more than 28,500 privately rented homes. We want to improve management and conditions in privately rented properties by:

  1. Introducing a scheme which requires some single family dwellings to be licensed. We propose to do this in particular areas first where there is more antisocial behaviour. This is called selective licensing.
  2. Make all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have a licence no matter how small they are. This is called additional licensing.

 Find out if your address is in a proposed selective licensing area.

Before we introduce this, we want to hear from you first. We need your views and want to hear your experiences on renting privately whether you are a tenant, a landlord, a homeowner or anyone else.

We believe that our proposals will improve the management of rental property covered by the scheme, will reduce ASB as landlords who manage properties in which ASB takes place can be identified and required to take action and improve the condition of rental properties.

It will also allow us to identify and take action against the worst landlords who let badly maintained, unsafe and overcrowded accommodation.

Licensing would give us a better knowledge of who landlords are and powers to improve housing standards and other issues such as noise nuisance, increased fire risk, fly tipping and criminal damage.

All the information is at our website   http://www.southwark.gov.uk/talkrent

Tell us your view on our proposals 

You can read the all the consultation documents, view the areas where we want to introduce selective licensing, or fill in the form. The form should only take five minutes to complete and all information you provide is confidential. You can email us at privaterentedsectorc@southwark.gov.uk

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Capital Gains changes from April 1st 2015 for overseas landlords

I have been asked by a couple of our overseas landlords recently to clarify the position around the changes from April, below is the position as it stands:

At the Autumn Statement 2013 the government announced that it will charge capital gains tax (CGT) on gains made by non-residents disposing of UK residential property, from April 2015. The charge will come into effect in April 2015 and apply only to gains arising from that date. 

There is however light for those landlords that used to live in their rental property themselves:

Overseas Capital Gains changes for landlords Private residence relief (PRR) is intended to ensure that individuals do not have to pay CGT on gains that accrue during the time a property is used as their main residence. In general, a UK residence will not be the main residence of a non-resident and therefore the CGT exemption available under PRR will not be appropriate.*

However, the government recognises there may be exceptions to this general position and will make PRR available to non-residents in certain circumstances. For example, where a person emigrates from the UK and then sells what was their main residence, it is appropriate that PRR should be available for the time the property was used as their main residence. *

To clarify the current capital gains levels:

Individual UK taxpayers are subject to a 28% rate of CGT if they are higher-rate tax payers, and 18% if they are lower-rate tax payers. In calculating the rate of tax, total income is calculated first, and capital gains are added. The annual exempt amount, currently £10,900, is available to all individual UK taxpayers. The government intends that the annual exempt amount will also be available to non-resident individuals subject to UK capital gains tax.* 

Don’t forget if your property is jointly owned you get two allowances.

My advice for all our overseas landlords is to do some research on the value of your property at April 1st. Look at Zoopla /Rightmove etc and get some comparable properties that you can print out and keep in your property file. When you come to dispose of your asset you will have to declare your gain between April 1st and when you sell, if you were ever questioned on a tax inspection, you will then have evidence as to how you came by your figures.

If any of our landlords struggle to find similar properties to theirs, I am happy to try to help, as I can access properties on the databases of those portals that have been advertised in the previous few months, not just the ones that are live. Just email be directly end of March/April claire@daisylets.uk.

*Excerpts from a government consultation document
Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Daisy Sales

 

 

psst … Daisylets are now doing Sales …

daisysalesbackgroundsmallerWe are excited to be now offering a Sales service! Having dipped our toes in the world of sales of behalf of our landlords for a few months now, we are offering our same great customer service, transparency, ethos and attitude, traditionally provided by Daisylets, to the Sales market as Daisy Sales.

Super 3D floor plans
• Professional photography
Competitive commission
Advertising on all 3 main sites – Rightmove, Prime Location and Zoopla

We are now in the minority to offer this superb all round advertising package since the launch of a new in January (and at the moment little known) portal owned by the large estate agents. Most other local agents have joined as it is cheaper than the others, BUT the portal prohibits them advertising on more than one other portal – meaning they will be advertising on either Zoopla (and therefore Primelocation) or Rightmove – but not all. This means we are best placed locally right now to give 100% coverage on the two most popular and visited sites to our vendors!

A new website will be coming soon, but meanwhile here are some examples of our sales properties:

 

Flat 5, 22a Peckham Rye 3D plans

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Daisylets are a “Safe Agent” …

Daisylets are a Safe Agent…giving you peace of mind

What is SAFE?

SAFE – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – is a mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through client money protection schemes. 

There are several schemes in the sector operated by ARLA/NAEA, the Law Society, NALS and RICS to which agents voluntarily belong. These schemes are run by recognised industry bodies or organisations operating in the private rented sector to provide accreditation and/or regulation. They are completely independent from the letting agent and they do not act on behalf of, or have a duty of care to the participating firm. Daisylets are members of UKALA.

Landlords and tenants often make decisions based on cost but it is important to ensure you ask your agent for details of the organisation they are regulated by and whether or not they are covered by a client money protection scheme. All agents who are part of ARLA/NAEA, the Law Society, NALS, UKALA and RICS maintain and operate separate designated client accounts where your money is held completely separate from the operating funds of the firm. If the agent you are using cannot provide you with the assurance of knowing they are covered by a client money protection scheme the question you need to ask is why not?

*The firms/members of CMP Schemes recognised by SAFEagent have common minimum standards. The schemes are provided by recognised industry bodies or organisations operating in the private rented sector to provide accreditation and/ or regulation. They are completely independent from the letting agent and they do not act on behalf of, or owe a duty of care to the participating firm.

For the benefit of consumers these organisations require
their firms/members to have:

– professional indemnity insurance
– defined accounting standards relating to clients money
– a customer complaints procedure
– membership of an ombudsman scheme

For the benefit of consumers the SAFEagent campaign restricts registration to agents who are part of such organisations as these agents meet the stringent standards expected.

Source: Taken from http://www.safeagents.co.uk/what-is-safe
Posted in News | Leave a comment

Daisylets comment in Absolutely Mag – Furniture for buy-to-lets

To furnish or not to furnish?

screenshot

Absolutely Dulwich Feb 2015You are faced with the choice of what to offer and how far to go.

Unless you plan to let out on a short term basis or holiday let, fully furnished is not the best approach and you should temper your initial enthusiasm to make it look like a show home, as you may well end up disappointed when your prospective tenant decides they don’t want the items you have spent your hard earned cash on and time installing..

If your property is in a popular area and empty, keep it that way and see who comes through the door. If you rent to a couple with a baby or a single professional who wants a study, putting that second double bed in will have been an annoying mistake!

Absolutely Dulwich Feb 2015

Posted in Media | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Daisylets and Heber School ‘International Evening’

IMG_2899Last Friday evening saw parents of Heber Primary School in East Dulwich rock up with dishes from around the globe to share. Whether they originated from that country, or had been there on holiday, all were encouraged to test their culinary skills on other parents and their kids – and teachers – with amazing results! The spread was very impressive and the food I sampled was yummy indeed :o)

Daisylets were pleased to provide pink napkins, reusable plastic plates (v important!) and soft drinks to aide the fundraiser for the Parents & Friends group.

Daisylets logo on a napkin!

The birth of the Daisylets napkin!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tim Henman day in North Dulwich

Daisylets were happy to sponsor a day with Tim Henman,  former UK  number 1 Tennis Player, at North Dulwich Tennis Club on 11th Oct… in fact we were a bit over excited about it to be honest.. ! We nipped down there on the day and snapped Mr Henman in action coaching on the courts, see some of our action shots below…

Promo video from the day

henman1 henman9 henman8 henman3

Posted in Community Sponsorship, News, Out and about with Daisylets | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daisylets Sponsors Peckham MUNCH

wordpress_logo_munch

37leanne-dixon-munchOn the 12th and 13th July Daisylets sponsored the Peckham MUNCHThe Peckham Festival of Food and Culture. It was a weekend of food filled mayhem and bigger than ever! There was a plethora of stalls, cultural collaborations, workshops, talks and performances along with a food market and festival hub on Holly Grove Park with food themed stalls, street food traders, a bar, a stage for demos/talks/performances, and a bit of a knees up in the evening.

49leanne-dixon-munchWith pop up performances from local and national cultural organisations, and all sorts of interactive happenings in shops and venues along the high streets, it’s a festival that is sure to be back again year after year! MUNCH also supports Peckham Food Bank – very apt we think.

65leanne-dixon-munch

23leanne-dixon-munch

Posted in Community Sponsorship | Leave a comment

HMRC steps up Let Property Campaign

HMRC TAX MAN COMETH

Source: http://news.rla.org.uk/hmrc-tax-man-cometh/

As many landlords know, HMRC launched their Let Property Campaign in Autumn 2013, which is the Government’s rental income declaration amnesty. The carrot is no stick, and the stick is now bigger than ever.

In its basic form, the campaign is telling landlords to come forward before HMRC come to them, the benefit being less stringent fines and reduced risk of criminal investigation.  Waiting until the tax man comes to you is going to cost a lot more than it would if you made the first step.

We have been made aware of a letter sent by HMRC to an RLA member, which you can view here.  The letter quite clearly states that HMRC are aware that this person is a landlord and that they now have just 30 days in which to get in touch before further, stronger, action is taken.

The letter also suggests that responding to it would class your declaration as “Prompted” and suggesting that this “may affect the penalty you will have to pay”.

It’s clear that the best way in which landlords can potentially reduce penalty levels is to declare rental income before they receive a letter like this.  RITA4RENT, the RLA’s official tax partner, have dealt with countless Let Property Campaign cases and in a number of instances, been able to minimise landlords’ exposure before they go ahead and declare to HMRC.

 A case study is available to download here.  The case study, covers an accidental landlord who  had been receiving over £800 per month in rent since 2006 and who had not made a single tax return since.  RITA4RENT was able to prepare the tax calculations before submitting a return to HMRC, under the Let Property Campaign, with a tax liability of £22 and a £4 penalty.

Whilst this may not be the case for every landlord, it also shows that it pays to discuss your situation with someone like RITA4RENT before approaching HMRC.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Dulwich Piano Festival 2014

Daisylets sponsor Dulwich Piano festivalDaisylets were proud to once again witness the talent that Dulwich has to offer and sponsor the Dulwich Piano Festival this year for the second year running. The event was held in the Old Library at Dulwich College on Sunday 15th June and Claire was on hand to present a cup in the class for grades 5&6, huge congratulations to all the winners – the standard was amazing!

Daisylets sponsor Dulwich Piano festival

Posted in Community Sponsorship, News, Out and about with Daisylets | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Heber School Fun Run 2014

Claire from Daisylets at the Heber fun runDaisylets sponsored The Heber School Heber fun runFun Run 2014 which took place this Sunday in Peckham Rye Park. Luckily the rain just about held off, and I take my hat off to the adults who ran the 3 laps (5k) past me (being a marshal, not a runner!), panting their way round for a good cause :o) and of course all the kids who completed their lap in a very fast time I thought!

Heber fun runHeber fun runHeber fun run Heber fun runHeber fun run

Posted in Community Sponsorship, News, Out and about with Daisylets | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daisylets in “The Resident”

Claire from Daisylets writes in The Resident Magazine

The Resident Magazine June 2014

Read the full edition here

Posted in Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment