Take aim - at buy-to-let owners - Fire
At least nine rounds have been let off this year, and a couple of them have been armour piercing.
The Chancellor dealt four significant blows to domestic rented properties in his 2015 Summer Budget and Autumn Statement -
- Mortgage interest to be restricted to basic rate tax relief only (reducing wef 4/17)
- Wear and tear allowance of 10% of rentals abolished (wef.4/16)
- Stamp duty increase of 3% for rental properties to be paid within 30 days of sale (wef. 4/19)
- Capital gains tax on domestic rented properties to be paid within 30 days of sale (wef. 4/19)
- Here in Wales we have been particularly targeted as all landlords and agents must be registered, by November 2016, under the Rent Smart Wales scheme, and register each domestic property that they rent out. In addition all agents responsible for managing the properties or collecting rent must be licensed. This will include the landlord if they undertake these tasks. Also a Landlord who owns large Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) must register each HMO. An HMO is a property of at least three storeys where five or more people, comprising more than one household, share bathroom, toilet or kitchen facilities.
- All new tenants from 1 October 2015 must be provided with the government's 'how to rent' guide.
- From 1 February 2016 all landlords renting domestic properties must make checks on all new adult tenants to ensure that they have the right to reside in the UK. Existing tenants are not affected. If the prospective tenant has an unlimited right to reside in the UK they must supply one document from List 'A'. Generally this will be a passport showing that the person is a UK citizen, or a national of an EU country. Alternatively if they only have a temporary right to be in the UK they must produce two documents from List 'B'.
- From 1 October 2015 all new tenants must also be provided with a gas safety certificate, if the property is supplied with gas and an 'Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The highest rating is 'A' and the lowest 'G'. Subsequently all gas appliances and electrical equipment provided by the landlord, must be checked annually by a competent tradesman.
- The property must comply with fire regulations and where appropriate be supplied with fire extinguishers, and those in multiple occupations must be licensed with the Local Authority. Since October 2015 the Smoke and Carbon monoxide alarm to be installed in each room where there is a solid burning combustion appliance.