We were going to write a review of the year, but the Southern Landlords Association (SLA) did such a good job with theirs we have decided to include it here in its entirety:
What a year we landlords have had; constant amendments to rules and regulations have made it difficult for all to keep up:
In last months article on the top 3 areas where landlords get it wrong when making self-assessment submissions for their annual tax return (original article here ) we appear to have made a mistake ourselves!
In section on "Flipping between wear and tear and renewals" we stated that flipping between using the 10% wear and tear allowance to claiming for individual renewals was not permitted but you could still opt to claim for renewals of furniture etc as incurred.THIS IS NO LONGER CORRECT.
Following a recent drugs caution in the South Warnborough area, Hampshire Police are reminding members of the public, particularly landlords, that drug offences can occur in any house, in any street and the importance of reporting any suspicious activity to Police on 101. This recent incident was aided by members of the public being the eyes and ears of the neighbourhood and voicing their concerns to officers; demonstrating how important it is to report to Police anything suspicious in your area.
They have issued the following advice on how to spot a cannabis factory.
Amid all the media coverage of skyrocketing house prices, there is very little talk about house prices in real terms. In most parts of the country, house prices are back to or near their 2007 levels, but £100 in 2007 would buy the same as £126.20 today, so in real terms house prices are still down 20% from their peak. The big question with an election coming in a few months, is which political party is most friendly to landlords?
The PDPLA, urged on by its members, constantly asks Portsmouth Council to focus on eradicating the few rogue landlords in the city rather than use the HMO licensing regime as a vehicle to increase the workload of the very many good landlords.
When PCC spoke to us a year or so ago, they made it clear that under new rules which allow them to vary council tax exemptions, they were allowed to collect council tax for student houses during the summer – but it was also apparent that they did not have the manpower or resources to go after these properties pro-actively.
This meant that some properties received council tax demands and others have not.
Portsmouth City Council have interpreted the Housing Act such that they are selling a copy of the HMO licensing database, including names and addresses of landlords to anyone who asks for it at a price of £200.
On Friday 28th November MPs debated the Tenancies Reform Bill. This sought to ban so-called retaliatory evictions by limiting landlords' use of section 21 notices where tenants had lodged property condition complaints with the local authority.
The discounted fees for accredited landlords and those taking benefits claimants were removed in the annual review of fees. PCC's argument being that most landlords who have yet to apply are late in doing so and thus not deserving of special treatment.
We often see debates or assertions that because tenants are on individual AST's you are operating a bedsit like hostel and you are liable for all taxes / charges whereas if the tenants are all on a joint AST, they are obviously a group of friends sharing a house and they are liable for any taxes or charges. We all know that in reality, there is no link whatsoever between how we choose to contract and how the house is managed.
A landlord who flouted the law, has been ordered to pay a £280k fine for ignoring orders to demolish an outbuilding. The building was deemed as not fit for housing and was built without any planning permission. The landlord turned an outbuilding of his property into six tiny flats over 5 years ago. In the same year the council told him to stop using the outbuilding as flats and to remove the bathrooms and kitchens.