A Clearer View
Date of Article
Apr 04 2017
Written by
Lisa Simon
Residential services


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Chris is a partner and manages the Oxford lettings team who specialises in the letting of a wide range of properties from village houses to modern apartments. He has over 21 years of experience of letting properties in Oxford and the county.
David has a wealth of experience within the London Lettings market, working for some of London's largest Estate Agents across London. David joined Carter Jonas to the lead the Fulham office in 2015 before moving to the flagship Marylebone office in 2019 where he looks after private clients and Estates including The Portman Estate and Howard de Walden Estate.Bringing an enthusiastic approach to his work, David has a keen focus on building and maintaining strong relationships with his clients. He firmly believes his experience and knowledge ensures he can advise his clients correctly in an industry which has increasing regulatory obligations whilst also delivering a first class service.
David is the Lettings Manager in the York office covering all aspects of the business including advice on pre-letting prospects, market rent, market appraisals, viewings, let progression and property management. David is also a member of ARLA to ensure both the business and landlords comply with all legislative requirements, policies and procedures.
Isabelle advises on all aspects of buying and selling property across Wandsworth, working closely with buyers, developers and investors in acquisitions. Experienced in business development, negotiation and structuring deals, Isabelle, a Business graduate of Stirling University, is a long term Wandsworth resident, living near Wandsworth Common with her husband and their two children and dog.
Lisa Simon heads up our Residential Division, which includes sales, new homes, BTR, lettings and property management across our national network. She joined Carter Jonas in 2011 and has over thirty years' experience largely in London and the Home Counties working with Landlords and Tenants. Lisa oversees the day to day running of our residential offices and acts as a key contact for our Christies International Real Estate Affiliates and some of our lettings portfolio clients. She also oversees our corporate services department liaising and promoting our properties to companies and their relocation agents.
Sharon has run the lettings department in Bath since its opening in 2011, having been in the residential agency business, both sales and lettings, since 2000. Sharon helps her clients maximise their rental potential, and advises on city flats, town houses and country houses.
Zaza lives near Winchester and has 30 years' experience in property. She has built the very successful Winchester lettings department from its start in 2005, having worked in estate agency since leaving university in both London and the country and specifically in lettings and management since 1991. She is ARLA and College of Estate Management qualified. She can provide advice on all aspects of letting including rental investments, having personal experience of the Hampshire lettings market in addition to her thorough knowledge and understanding of landlord and tenant law.

Lisa Simon, Partner and Head of Residential Lettings, offers a practical view on residential letting issues currently in the news.

Mortgage interest tax relief change

The start of April marked the first phase of new restrictions on tax relief for buy-to-let investors on residential property.

Under the new measures, first outlined by the Chancellor in the Summer Budget of 2015, tax relief on mortgage interest has been reduced to the basic rate of income tax.

While some buy-to-let investors feel that the revisions lack clarity, the change means that finance costs such as mortgage interest or interest on loans to buy furnishings will no longer be deductible in full to work out taxable property profits.

The restrictions operate by disallowing finance costs when calculating the taxable rental profit, and then introducing a tax credit equal to 20 per cent of the disallowed costs.

Phased in over four years, the full restrictions will not be felt until the tax year 2020/21, allowing a short period for investors to adjust.

For 2017/18, investors will receive full relief on 75 per cent of mortgage interest, as per the old system, with the remaining 25 per cent subject to 20 per cent basic tax relief. For 2018/19, there will be a 50 per cent finance costs deduction and 50 per cent given as a basic tax reduction; for 2019/20 there will be a 25 per cent finance costs deduction and 75 per cent as a basic tax reduction, and from 2020 all interest will be restricted to 20 per cent relief.

Described as one of the most significant changes to the buy-to-let market in decades, the Chartered Institute of Taxation [CIOT] is urging landlords who no longer benefit from the relief against selling off portfolios, and instead to assess their options once the full restrictions are implemented in four years’ time.

Bike resting against a radiator.
While many individual residential investors are still unclear about whether they are affected by the change, CIOT is urging all parties to exercise caution before assuming that they are exempt.

For any landlords who are unsure, please do contact your local Carter Jonas office, who can assist with any queries or put you in touch with a tax advisor.


Airbnb and the risk of subletting

Airbnb is a phenomenon of our age and, in January of this year, it was reported that over 4million people in London had used the service since launch in 2008. As the go-to website – or app – for a host of travellers, Airbnb provides a convenient solution for those seeking an alternative to a traditional hotel room.

In recent years, its ease of use has seen Airbnb broaden its reach beyond the hospitality sector and into the lettings market, and while this might seem like an optimum solution for short-term tenancies, it is also proving to be a challenge that the industry is yet to navigate.

A primary hurdle that has arisen for landlords is around subletting, and a growing number of landlords are launching possession proceedings against tenants who have sublet their property via sites such as Airbnb, without the requisite permissions. Tenants who do this without consent risk eviction for a breach of their assured shorthold tenancy agreement – but for some, this is a risk they are willing to take.

At the same time, if the rent is paid in full and on time, some landlords might be inclined to turn a blind eye to the practice. However, it is worth remembering that while it is an ARLA Property mark standard to vet tenants at the start of a contract with full references and credit checks, tenants are unlikely to do this on behalf of landlords for subtenants, creating risks for all parties.

Furthermore, while the tenant signing the contract might show up well on paper, they could be subletting to just about anybody, with no verification of their credentials whatsoever.

It goes without saying that in not knowing who precisely is occupying a property can be disastrous for landlords, with unpaid rent, bills and damage to a property.

As such, we do urge landlords to ensure that they enter into an up-to-date contract with their tenants, which legislates against subletting under any circumstances. This is a clause inbuilt to every Carter Jonas contract, but for independent landlords who operate without an agency, it is worth checking the wording of all tenancy agreements.

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