HMRC is writing to 1,500 people who have sold a second home or buy-to-let property in the 2015-16 tax year but not declared a profit on which capital gains tax would potentially be liable. The letters, the wording of which is still being finalised, will ask recipients to explain why they have not paid the tax that HMRC’s computer models indicate they owe. Chas Roy-Chowdhury of the ACCA said the HMRC initiative should serve as a “wake-up call” to existing and former landlords or owners of second homes, some of whom may not realise they owe tax.

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 11-12

Posted 15/07/2018

 

 

Changes to tax rules for short-term lettings will mean that, from April 2019, the annual £7,500 tax break property owners enjoy when renting a room to a lodger, or their whole home for short stays, will be dependent on the owner being present for at least some of the guest’s stay. Homeowners will not be eligible for the tax break if they let out their whole home; instead a new £1,000 trading and property allowance will apply to earnings from the whole property. The changes will see higher taxes for people who use Airbnb and other short-term lettings websites to let out their properties when they are on holiday.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 29 The Times, Page: 17

Posted 07/07/2018

Following a Court of Appeal ruling – landowners across England and Wales can now claim damages if the quick-spreading Japanese knotweed plant has encroached on their property. Rodger Burnett of Charles Lyndon, the law firm which represented Robin Waistell, who made a claim against Network Rail, acknowledged that the ruling means a householder could sue their neighbour but stressed that it would be firms like Network Rail who should have the greatest concerns.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 9 The Times, Page: 5 Daily Mail, Page: 35 I, Page: 17 The Sun, Page: 26 Daily Express, Page: 26

Posted 04/07/2018

A study by Which? has found some homeowners are being charged up to £60 to install a doorbell and £250 to own a pet as freeholders exploit contracts sold by British housebuilders. The consumer group also discovered that some people who bought leasehold homes from Taylor Wimpey were not properly advised by the developer’s recommended conveyancing solicitors.

The Times, Page: 8

Posted 14/06/2018

 

 

Plans to force landlords across Britain to check the immigration status of potential tenants are to be challenged in court this week, with landlords among those raising concerns about the right to rent policy. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is bringing a legal challenge in the high court, with the body saying the policy is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. This comes after JCWI research found that 51% of landlords said that they were less likely to consider renting to non-EU nationals due to the policy, with 42% less likely to rent to those without a UK passport. A separate survey of almost 2,800 landlords by the Residential Landlords Association found that 43% were less likely to rent to anyone without a UK passport, and 46% are less likely to rent to a foreign national from outside the EU.

The Observer, Page: 21

Posted 03/06/2018

A High Court ruling has given hope to victims of “home hijacking” scams – where criminals pose as the owner of a building to sell it – after developer Dreamvar successfully appealed over a £1.1m fraud. The decision places liability on the seller’s solicitors for failing to carry out adequate identity checks, saying they are best-placed to verify the seller’s identity. Land Registry figures show property hijackings are increasing, with the value of successful scams climbing from £7.2m in 2013 to £24.9m a year ago.

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 17/05/2018

Research by Which? Mortgage Advisers shows that 66% of home buyers face some form of issue while purchasing a property, with one in eight coming up against a potentially deal-breaking problem on the day of completion. It found that as many as three in ten deals collapse. With this in mind the Telegraph highlights roadblocks that might pop up and how buyers can navigate them, identifying: mortgage delays; “secret sales”, where buyers are strung along by sellers as a fall back option in case another sale falls through; and invasive plants which, once discovered, can hit values or make a home unmortgageable.

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 08/05/2018

 

Halifax is offering first-time buyers and home movers £1,000 cashback for completions by June 24 – and £250 cashback for borrowers who move their mortgage to the bank.

Daily Mirror, Page: 40

Posted 01.05/2018

House prices in UK cities were up 5.5% overall in March, according to Hometrack‘s UK Cities House Price Index for March 2018, with northern cities driving growth. While house prices in London inched up 1.6%, Edinburgh led the way with an 8.8% increase in prices, followed by Nottingham and Manchester with 8% and 7.4% respectively. Liverpool, Cardiff, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield also recorded healthy gains over the last year. Across all of Britain’s 20 biggest cities, the average cost of a home has increased by 2.9% to £254,900 in the last quarter, the figures show. Separate data from haart suggests interest from buyers across England and Wales has increased by 22% in the last year, while supplies of homes coming up for sale have increased by just 6.5% over the same period, meaning 12 would-be buyers are grappling to snap up every property that comes onto the market.

City AM Daily Mail

Posted 26/04/2018