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

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Lisa Simon heads up our Residential Division, which includes sales, new homes, lettings and property management across our National network. She joined Carter Jonas in 2011. Her twenty years plus experience has been largely in London and the Home Counties working with Landlords and Tenants. Lisa oversees the day to day running of our residential branches and acts as a key contact for some of our portfolio clients. She also runs our corporate services department liaising and promoting our properties to companies and their relocation agents. Lisa resides in West London with her husband and two daughters.

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Sharon is the Lettings Manager in Bath advising on all marketing aspects of residential letting from city centre flats to country houses.  Sharon has lived and worked in Bath for 25 years and has 10 years residential agency experience, both in sales and lettings. She enjoys all that the city has to offer, in addition to the beautiful local countryside for long dog walks.
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David has a wealth of experience within the South West London Lettings market. David has a proven track record and has worked across most of the South West region, bringing an enthusiastic approach to his work and has a strong focus on building and maintaining strong relationships with clients. Out of work David enjoys cooking and has a huge passion for most sports, particularly Rugby and Football. A proud Welshmen, David lives locally in Putney with his wife.

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Anton is a Partner at Carter Jonas, heading up residential lettings across all four Cambridge offices. Following two years at a local independent estate agent as a senior lettings negotiator he quickly attracted the attention of Bradshaws and joined them in 2008 to single handedly build a lettings department from scratch. Over the six years he successfully drove the lettings business forward, developing the proposition, which in turn helped to build a portfolio that reached in excess of 550 properties. In his spare time he enjoys a game of golf and playing football. He is passionate about travel and his best-kept secret is that he used to be a British karting champion.
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Andrew has been working in Estate Agency since 2004, mainly in Oxford and London. His current role with Carter Jonas is Head of Lettings for our Marylebone office, where he is responsible for letting properties and managing a range of clients, from private individuals to large property estates such as the Portman Estate and the Howard de Walden Estate.

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Christopher is a Partner and heads a team specialising in the letting of a wide range of properties from country houses to city apartments in Oxfordshire and the Buckinghamshire borders.  He advises both private and corporate clients on a range of residential tenancy matters including buy to let investment, property management and portfolio management. Christopher is a keen motorsport enthusiast and enjoys attending and participating in events throughout the UK. Other interests include travelling and clay shooting.

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Fiona has lived in Battersea, Tooting and Wandsworth for over 20 years. Joining from Sullivan Thomas in 1999 she worked as a lettings negotiator in central London for 2 years. She now lives in 'Bellevue village' only a couple of minutes' walk from the Wandsworth office. She has an excellent knowledge of the area, its schools and other facilities.

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Zaza set up the Lettings Team in 2005 in Winchester, 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 lives in Winchester and has two children at local schools.

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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. He joined Carter Jonas in January 2017 with over 5 years experience in the letting industry in Scotland, York & Selby. David has lived in the York area since 2014 and has good knowledge of the city and current market.

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Sophie has extensive lettings knowledge and specialises in all rental property from one bedroom apartments to large country estates. With 10 years experience in the property industry Sophie has worked for Carter Jonas in Lettings since 2011. Sophie heads up the lettings team who consistently go above and beyond in delivering exceptional service and results for landlords and tenants alike. She lives on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border with her husband, is from a farming family so has an affinity with the countryside and enjoys socialising and travelling.

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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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