New Regulations drafted state, that all rented properties in England must provide a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms used as living accommodation where there is a fixed combustion appliance, such as gas heaters and boilers, from the beginning of October 2022.
The new draft rules amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 where previously the requirement only applied to solid fuel combustion appliances, such as wood burners. The rules will, however, not extend to gas cookers.
The amended rules (Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022) include a new requirement to ensure when a tenant reports to the landlord or letting agent that an alarm may not be in proper working order, the alarm must be repaired or replaced.
The Draft Statutory Instrument was laid before Parliament on 11 May 2022 and once approved will come into force on 1 October 2022.
Article from PropertyMark https://www.propertymark.co.uk/resource/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-compulsory-from-1-october.html
It was great to see some of our members at the Landlord Expo at Ashton Gate, Bristol on Tuesday. We also spoke to lots of landlords who are keen to sign up to the SWLA and attend our Landlord Accreditation and Training courses. The training courses are currently running online – which is great for our members who live further afield.
The day was well attended by exhibitors and delegates. It was good to be back to the hustle and bustle after all of the online meetings of the last couple of years!
Renters Reform Bill
The Queen’s Speech included reconfirmation of the government’s commitment to legislating on the Renters Reform Bill. This will include;
The Bill was first proposed in 2019 so landlords have been expecting this change for a long while.
The Renter’s Reform Bill white paper will be ‘published shortly’.
Reforming the UK’s Data Protection Regime
As the UK is no longer a members of the EU, the government are looking to reform the UK’s Data Protection regime, a Bill is expected, due to be published in summer 2022.
For the full speech contents; https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-2022
½ Day Landlord Training Course – Legal Update 2022
Thursday 16th June 2022 – 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Venue – Online
If you are accredited this will count towards your CPD hours, but the course is open to all.
Cost for SWLA members – £35
Cost for non-SWLA members – £40
Course will cover –
Places secured upon receipt of payment, book your place through the office 01752 510913.
Course will be instructed by Stephen Fowler from Training for Professionals.
Free to Attend! – Tuesday 17th May 2022 – 10am to 5pm – Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol – Come and join us!
Understanding Self Assessment can be challenging for many self-employed people. The technical information can be difficult if not impossible to understand, while – let’s face it – it’s hardly the most interesting subject.
And the use of tax terminology rather than plain English can literally leave many people scratching their head when they’re reading information that should guide them.
Here are a few basic facts that you should know about how Self Assessment works if you’re self-employed, as well as plain English explanations of key Self Assessments terms that’ll you’ll often read or hear.
What is Self Assessment and how does it work?
Self Assessment glossary – what does the jargon actually mean?
Accounting year – the 12-month period covered by your business’s accounts, which may or not be the same as the UK tax year (ie 6 April-5 April).
Allowable expenses – business costs that HMRC allows you to deduct from your profits. These reduce your profits and resulting Income Tax bill.
Annuities – a long-term investment issued by an insurance company that’s designed to protect you from the risk of outliving your income. If applicable, details must be given in your Self Assessment tax return.
Balance sheet – a report (usually produced by accounting software) showing a business’s assets and liabilities at a specific time or at the end of the trading or tax year.
Capital allowances – to reduce your profits and Income Tax bill, you can claim capital allowances when you buy capital assets that you keep for use in your business (eg equipment, machinery and vehicles).
Capital Gains Tax – a tax on the profit you make when you “dispose of” (ie sell) an asset (eg property) for more than you paid for it. You provide details of your gain via Self Assessment and pay tax on the gain.
Gross profit – your total sales (also called your “turnover”) minus your cost of sales and direct costs. Your cost of sales are your day-to-day business running costs (ie your overheads or fixed costs), while direct (or variable) costs are those linked directly to the production/supply of specific goods or services.
Income – money your business receives for the products and/or services it sells to its customers. The money you receive is your personal income.
Late-filing – when you fail to submit your Self Assessment tax return before the deadline. You’ll pay a late-filing penalty of £100 if your tax return is up to three months late (more if it’s later or if you also pay your tax bill late).
Marriage Allowance – enables you to transfer £1,260 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner, thereby reducing their tax by up to £252 in the tax year.
National Insurance contributions – contributions you pay to qualify for certain benefits and the State Pension. Self-employed people pay Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance contributions (NICs).
Net profit – your gross (ie total) profit minus indirect costs and expenses.
NINO – National Insurance number; ensures that your National Insurance contributions (NICs) and tax are only recorded against your name.
Ordinary partnership – a business formed by two or more self-employed people. In law, the people and their business are the same thing, so the partners are both liable for the partnership’s debts.
Personal Allowance – the standard Personal Allowance is £12,570 (2022/23 tax year). This is the amount of income that you can earn without having to pay tax.
Revenue – total income generated by the sale of goods and services that your sole trader business makes.
SA100 – the main Self Assessment tax return that you need to fill out and file. Sole traders often have to complete and file supplementary pages to provide more details about their income or expenses.
Self Assessment – the system that the UK tax authority HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) uses to collect Income Tax.
Self-employed – working for yourself as a freelancer, contractor, agency worker or business owner, rather than being employed by an employer.
Simplified expenses – a quicker and more convenient way of calculating some business expenses using flat rates instead of working out the actual cost. HMRC allows this. Can be used for vehicle and fuel costs.
Sole trader – an alternative term for being self-employed. In law, there’s no distinction between you and your business. You can keep all of the profits after you’ve paid tax on them – but you’re personally liable for business debts.
Tax relief – these enable you to pay less tax to cover money you’ve spent on business expenses or costs if you’re self-employed or to get back tax or have it repaid in another way (eg into a personal pension). You get some types of tax relief automatically, but you must apply for others.
Tax year – 12-month period covered by a Self Assessment tax return. It’s the same for everyone who pays tax via Self Assessment – 6 April until 5 April the following year.
Trading allowance – the first £1,000 of income that you earn from self-employment is your trading allowance and it isn’t subject to tax.
UTR – Unique Taxpayer Reference – a 10-digit code HMRC uses to identify self-employed people and their businesses for tax purposes. You need to include it in your Self Assessment tax return.
Article by GoSimpleTax
GoSimpleTax is jargon free software which allows you to record income, expenses and submits directly to HMRC.
It is a solution for the self-employed landlord, sole traders, freelancers and anyone with income outside of PAYE.
The software will provide you with hints and tips that could save you money on allowances and expenses you may have missed.
Discounts for SWLA members; GoSimpleTax
The Building Safety Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April and was passed into law – however it won’t come into force for two months. The conclusion of the bill process sees confirmation about the level of funding available for the remediation of unsafe cladding in medium-rise buildings (11-18 metres high) in England.
The UK Government reversed its original suggestion to completely exclude leaseholder landlords from plans for developers to cover the cost of cladding remediation in medium-rise blocks.
Under the new legislation, owners of up to three properties in the UK will qualify for the protections. This includes all properties, not just those which require remediation – for example, an owner-occupied principal home plus two let properties.
Landlords with larger portfolios will be excluded from the protections unless the affected property is their primary residence, despite widespread support across the political spectrum for provisions to be extended.
For non-cladding remediation, developers and then building owners will be expected to cover these costs where possible. Building owners will be legally required to prove there are no other sources for funding before passing any costs onto leaseholders.
Building owners will not be able to pass costs onto qualifying leaseholders where they are, or are linked to, the developer or where they have sufficient net wealth.
In the remaining cases, the cost of remediation of non-cladding defects and interim measures, such as waking watches, will be shared between the building owner and leaseholders. Qualifying leaseholders (as outlined above) will be protected by a cap:
The costs will be spread over 10 years, and any payments for non-cladding defects or interim measures made in the last five years will count towards the cost cap. The building owner will be responsible for any costs above the cap.
There will be no protections for leaseholders in buildings less than 11 metres high, as the Government considers there’s “no systematic fire risk”. Buildings over 18 metres high continue to be covered by the Building Safety Fund.
The Government guidance on the leaseholder protections is available on the GOV.UK website.
The Building Safety Bill is an extensive piece of legislation, addressing issues raised by the Grenfell Tower fire and subsequent inquiry. Other provisions include:
Implementation of the full scope of the legislation is expected to take 12-18 months.
Article abridged from; NRLA
Further information; Building safety leaseholder protections factsheet
All benefit claimants will be moved over to Universal Credit by the end of 2024, with moves from legacy schemes resuming next month, the Department for Work and Pensions announced today.
Today’s announcement reaffirms the Government’s target to complete the programme. The restart follows a pause to the process during the pandemic when staff were focused on supporting the surge of new claimants to Universal Credit.
The six benefits being replaced all have complex and inefficient systems based on aging, inflexible IT. Universal Credit uses a modern, digital system which stood up to the test of Covid-19 where it quickly ensured three million new claimants were protected from the financial impact of the pandemic.
Universal Credit also provides claimants with one to one individually tailored support to help them into employment or to further their career, and people with a health condition or disability who cannot work could receive almost £350 a month on top of the Universal Credit standard allowance. Additional support remains available for those in need, including the Household Support Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments.
The process will resume on 9 May and will be carefully managed. Claimants will gradually be notified of when they will be asked to move to Universal Credit so as to complete the process by 2024.
Everyone moving over from legacy benefits will have their entitlement to Universal Credit assessed against their current claims, with top up payments available for eligible claimants whose entitlement would have been reduced because of the change – ensuring they receive the same entitlement as on a legacy system. These will continue unless their circumstances alter.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said:
Over five million people are already supported by Universal Credit. It is a dynamic system which adjusts as people earn more or indeed less, and simplifies our safety net for those who cannot work.
Parliament voted to end the complex web of six legacy benefits in 2012, and as this work approaches its conclusion we are fully transitioning to a modern benefit, suited to the 21st century.
Although notifications will be gradually sent out across the country, people who are currently claiming legacy benefits do not have to wait to be moved to Universal Credit. Anyone who thinks they will be better off can move straight away. Claimants can check their entitlement for Universal Credit using an independent benefits calculator.
People who are unsure whether they would be better off should wait to be moved as the transitional protection top up payments only apply to claimants moved by DWP, and people cannot reclaim their old benefits after switching to Universal Credit.
Claimants can also use the separate Help to Claim service for support.
A dedicated helpline – signposted on the notice claimants receive – will provide support to make their Universal Credit claim, and guidance will also be available online. Those in need of further support can also visit their local jobcentre.
Claimants moving to Universal Credit will receive a two-week run-on of their Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance. Those moving from Housing Benefit will receive a two-week Transition to Universal Credit Housing Payment.
Article from; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/managed-move-of-claimants-to-universal-credit-set-to-restart
The Fuel Direct Scheme enables energy suppliers and benefit claimants to apply deductions for energy arrears from benefits. In light of the significant increase in energy bills, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has written to UK energy suppliers about plans to temporarily pause requests to pay for ongoing energy usage from benefits from 1 April.
The DWP will no longer facilitate requests from energy suppliers for new or increased ongoing consumption payments in an effort to ease the cost of living pressures for those on lower incomes.
From 1 April, only claimants will be able to request an increase or decrease in ongoing consumption payments for a period of one year. By doing so, they will have greater control over the amount that can be deducted directly from their benefits. If they are able, claimants can contact the DWP and request an increase in payments.
Energy suppliers have been provided with reassurance that existing ongoing consumption payments will be maintained at their current levels.
Landlord Accreditation Training Course – ONLINE
Wednesday 3rd August 2022 – 9:00 – 4:30pm
Venue – Online
Price – £65 for members of SWLA, £75 for non – members for one day course.
Course covers ASTs, Deposits, Section 21s, Section 8s, HMOs, Gas and Electrical Safety, Inventories and much more.
The course will provide you with all the skills to start, manage and finish a tenancy.
Places still available. Contact the office on 01752 510913 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place, places only secured on receipt of payment.
Over 1100 landlords have already completed this course since September 2011.
Course can lead to Accreditation, if required.
We are proud to announce Landlord Accreditation South West (LASW) are founder members of the West of England Rental Standard.