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Do you currently file a paper tax return for your Self Assessment?

Posted on March 31st, 2023 -

Article by GoSimpleTax

HMRC has advised that for the 21/22 tax year, 385,000 taxpayers filed paper Self Assessment tax returns. If you were one of them, this could affect you, as HMRC is currently writing to taxpayers to inform them they will not automatically receive a tax return form for 22/23. Letters are currently being sent out between 23rd March and 4th April 2023.

This is a step in pushing taxpayers to file online as part of the government’s objective to have everyone interacting digitally with HMRC and other government bodies.


Who will receive a letter?

135,000 taxpayers who normally file their Self Assessment tax return on paper will receive a letter from HMRC, which will advise them they won’t receive a tax return form automatically this year. Instead, they will be asked to file their return online via gov.uk or by using commercial software.


The digital future

HMRC has a target over the next two years to reduce the volume of letters and forms it sends out via paper. It will continue to persuade taxpayers to use its digital channels where possible which is usually quicker and easier than communicating via post or over the phone.


What if you cannot file online?

Should you not have internet access you are advised to contact HMRC on 0300 200 3610 where you can request a paper form to be sent to you.

Taxpayers aged over 70, who are not already filing digitally and who do not have a tax agent appointed will continue to automatically receive a paper tax return form. Likewise, those who are not digitally capable, such as disabled employers who may employ personal assistants and carers – in these circumstances they will be able to choose to communicate with HMRC non-digitally.

There are other exclusions and special cases from online filing, listed on gov.uk, in which the taxpayer can use digital software to print the form in a format acceptable to HMRC.


About GoSimpleTax

Income, Expenses and tax submission all in one. GoSimpleTax provide tips that could save money on allowances and expenses that may have been missed.

Software submits directly to HMRC and is a digital solution for Landlords to record income, expenses and file their self-assessment giving hints on savings along the way.

Covering all self-assessment pages, not just property, GoSimpleTax does the calculations for you.

Landlords to be Given More Powers to Evict Anti-Social Tenants

Posted on March 29th, 2023 -

The UK Government has announced an action plan to crack down on anti-social behaviour giving more powers to the police to target perpetrators with swift and visible justice in England and Wales.

16 areas will be funded to support either new ‘hotspot’ police and enforcement patrols or trial a new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme. A select few areas will trial both interventions and following the initial trailblazers, both schemes will be rolled out in 2024.

A new reporting tool will also be developed over the next twelve months to act as a digital one-stop shop where people can quickly and easily report incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Under the zero-tolerance approach, nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’ will also be banned. The drug is now the third most used among 16 to 24-year-olds in England and both the police and the public have repeatedly reported links between the use of the drug and nuisance or anti-social behaviour.

Renters’ Reform

The UK Government’s plan to reform the private rented sector outlines tougher enforcement on nuisance tenants.

Faster grounds for possession

The Action plan highlights that sustained acts of intimidating or disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated and should lead to the eviction of the tenant involved. The UK Government will be changing laws and arming landlords with tools to ensure that anti-social tenants will face consequences including making the grounds for possession faster and easier to prove.

Other measures include:

  • ensuring all private tenancy agreements include clauses specifically banning anti-social behaviour
  • expand the discretionary eviction ground, to make anti-social behaviour easier to prove in court and speed up the process of evicting by exploring how to prioritise these cases in Possession Lists in the courts
  • preventing short-term lets importing anti-social behaviour into communities, with a new registration scheme to give local authorities data to easily identify short-term lets to act against if a let proves problematic. A consultation on the registration scheme will be published shortly

Clarity for letting agents and landlords needed

We need to see clarity on how the measures will work in practice and when the new legislation will be in effect, until then landlords will continue to struggle to evict nuisance tenants.

Article by PropertyMark; https://www.propertymark.co.uk/resource/landlords-to-be-given-more-powers-to-evict-unruly-tenants.html

01 April 2023 – All Commercial Let Properties Must Have EPC E or Above

Posted on March 29th, 2023 -


  • From 01 April 2018 – EPC rating E or above required on new & renewing leases.
  • From 01 April 2023 – EPC rating E or above required on all leases, including existing leases.

In 2018, changes to the law made it illegal to sign a new or renewed lease for a non-domestic property that does not meet the MEES regulations, meaning for any property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G.

From April 2023, the regulations will extend to all privately rented properties, including those where a lease is already in place and a property is occupied. Therefore, unless an exemption applies, it will be unlawful to continue renting out any property that does not meet the new regulations.

It has been estimated that up to 20% of non-domestic properties could have an EPC rating below an E, meaning that unless they were upgraded to meet the minimum standards or an exemption is successfully registered, it is now illegal to rent them.

Enforcement of the regulations is carried out by the local authority. Where a property does not meet the regulations, landlords can be fined up to £5,000 per property or up to 10% of the rateable value of the property. In addition, there is also a risk of loss of value of the property, with the marketability likely to suffer and lenders, banks, and pension funds less inclined to consider properties that are EPC band F or G.


There are a number of exemptions available to landlords. The full list can be found in the Non-Domestic MEES Guide. However, it is important to note that most exemptions are only valid for a maximum of five years. After this time, landlords are required to resume efforts to improve the EPC rating of their properties. To register for an exemption, visit the government webpage, Register an Exemption.

Proposed Timeline

Further changes to the MEES regulations are expected over the coming decade.

  • In 2025, the minimum standard is expected to rise to an EPC band D.
  • In 2027, the minimum standard is expected to rise to an EPC band C.
  • In 2030, the minimum standard is expected to rise to an EPC band B.


Article from Elmhurst Energy; https://www.elmhurstenergy.co.uk/blog/2023/03/28/changes-to-non-domestic-mees/

Updated How to Rent Guide Published 10am, 24th March 2023

Posted on March 24th, 2023 -

An updated ‘How to Rent Guide – The Checklist for Renting in England’ has been published by the government.


Landlords or letting agents should give the current version of this guide to the tenant when a new assured shorthold tenancy starts. There is no requirement to provide the document again if the assured shorthold tenancy is renewed unless the document has been updated.

All new tenancies and renewals from and including 24th March 2023 will need this new version provided!


Landlord Accreditation Training Course – Online

Posted on March 24th, 2023 -

Landlord Accreditation Training Course – ONLINE

Thursday 19th October 2023 – 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 info@landlordssouthwest.co.uk to book your place, places only secured on receipt of payment.

Over 1150 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.


Landlord Accreditation Training Course – Face to Face

Posted on March 24th, 2023 -

Welcome back to the first face to face course in 3 years.

Landlord Accreditation Training Course

Tuesday 20th June 2023 – 9:30 – 4:30pm

Venue – Astor Room, Plymouth Guildhall, Royal Parade, Plymouth PL1 1HA

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 via the website to book your place, places secured on receipt of payment.

Over 1150 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.


SWLA Donate £700.00 to Local Charity – FULLHRH

Posted on March 22nd, 2023 -

Feeding the Unfortunate, Lost, Lonely, Hungry, Rough sleepers and Homeless – a local charity who gather people together over food, supporting local people who may need extra support.

Andy Metcalf of FULLHRH receiving a cheque from Steve Lees, SWLA Chairman.

Notice of a General Meeting

Posted on March 22nd, 2023 -

Wednesday 19th April 2023

Future Inn Hotel, William Prance Road, Plymouth PL6 5ZD

7.15pm for a 7.30pm start

Speakers will include:-

Ian Pring & Sean Bolter – Westcotts Chartered Accountants:

Tax matters in the PRS – Tax Deductible Expenditure, Capital Gains, Record Keeping & Making Tax Digital Preparation, Inheritance Tax Planning.


Martyn Taylor – Ashley Taylors Legal – Possession Specialists:

Courts are finding Section 8s & Section 21s invalid more often; How to prevent that. Also – a Renters Reform Bill update.

Wine & orange juice will be served during the evening.

We hope to see you there, guests are very welcome.



Please remember to register your car at the hotel reception upon arrival.


TRADEPOINT – 10% Off Everything in Store & Most Items Online This Weekend – Plus an Extra 10% Off for SWLA TradePoint Members

Posted on March 22nd, 2023 -

24th to 27th March 2023 – 10% off TradePoint/B&Q – SWLA TradePoint Members receive an extra 10% off on top of this.

New ‘How to Rent’ and ‘How to Let’ Guides Published Soon

Posted on March 8th, 2023 -

We have been informed that the following guides are being updated by the government during week commencing 13 March 2023:

‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’ You must provide your tenants with a copy of the latest version of the ‘How to rent’ guide at the start of a tenancy, either as a hard copy or, if agreed with the tenant in writing, via email as a PDF attachment. You cannot rely on a section 21 notice to obtain possession from the tenant if you have not provided this document. We recommend that landlords access the guide from the gov.uk website to ensure that it’s the most up to date version that tenants receive.

‘How to let’ This guide is for current and prospective landlords. It explains the responsibilities, legal requirements, and best practice for letting a property in the private rented sector.



Government Launch ‘Make Things Right’ Campaign

Posted on March 8th, 2023 -

The ‘Make Things Right’ campaign aims to ensure more social housing residents who need support know how to make a complaint.

Make Things Right: Social housing complaints campaign

The ‘Make Things Right’ campaign aims to ensure more social housing residents who need support know how to make a complaint.

It is based on the idea that everyone deserves a home that is safe, secure and well maintained, and anything less is unacceptable. And if a resident has reported an issue and it hasn’t been fixed, it’s now easier to make things right.

The campaign sets out the steps of the complaints process that residents can take if they are unhappy with the service from their social housing provider.

This toolkit provides materials which landlords, stakeholders, and residents can use to spread the word among residents about how to make complaints, including by signposting to gov.uk/social-housing-complaints for advice.

What is included in the campaign?

The campaign will be running across the following channels:

  • Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, NextDoor)
  • Radio and digital audio
  • Online search promotion (e.g. Google, Bing)
  • Media relations
  • Campaign website (gov.uk/social-housing-complaints)

Advertisements on radio and digital audio, social media, and toolkit resources will be translated into Arabic, Bengali, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian and Urdu.

The advertising campaign will run until April 2023, with the use of communications toolkits continuing. Campaigns toolkits will remain live online after April 2023. Planning is underway for future campaigns.

Why is it ‘now easier to make things right’?

The campaign uses the phrase “it’s now easier to make things right”.

While the government is acting in many ways to improve the complaints process and conditions in social housing, the phrase’s use in this campaign mainly refers to the recent removal of the “democratic filter” and the introduction of a Complaint Handling Code for social housing providers.

The removal of the democratic filter means it is quicker and easier for residents to take complaints straight to the Housing Ombudsman Service. It has done this by removing the need to go to an MP, local councillor or tenants’ panel first, and to wait 8 weeks after completing the landlord’s complaints processes, before being allowed to take a complaint to the Ombudsman.

The Complaint Handling Code took effect from 1 April 2022 and landlords had until 1 October 2022 to become compliant. In short, it sets out good practice that will allow landlords to respond to complaints effectively and fairly. This includes good communication with residents about how to complain, and saying only two stages are necessary in landlord’s processes, with clear timeframes set out so residents know when to expect a response.

How can I support the campaign?

  1. Signpost residents to the campaign website at gov.uk/social-housing-complaints for advice about the step of the complaints process.
  2. Use the campaign materials (such as the leaflet, posters and social media posts) to support and add to your own communications. You could print the posters and leaflets for distribution locally. This will help the campaign reach more residents so they know what to do.
  3. If you are in an organisation that manages social housing, share this website and gov.uk/social-housing-complaints with your staff
  4. If you are in an area where many people speak a language to which we’ve translated assets, help to spread the message by printing and/or sharing online the posters, leaflets and social media posts. If you think a particular language that’s not supplied in our toolkit should be, please let us know by contacting externalaffairs@levellingup.gov.uk
  5. Let us know any case studies where a resident has been helped by the complaints process, and ideally where a landlord has found the process useful too, by contacting externalaffairs@levellingup.gov.uk.

If you have any questions about the campaign, or can share a case study of a resident helped by the complaints process (and even where landlords have learned from the process), please contact externalaffairs@levellingup.gov.uk.


Article by Gov.uk; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/make-things-right-introduction-and-how-to-help


Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax – DELAYED!!

Posted on March 2nd, 2023 -

At the end of December 2022, HMRC and the Treasury announced that Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment (MTD for ITSA) has been postponed until April 2026 and some of the expected eligibility requirements have also been amended. This will no doubt come as a relief for some.

In a written statement, HMRC stated:

“MTD for ITSA will now be introduced from April 2026, with businesses, self-employed individuals, and landlords with income over £50,000 mandated to join first. Those with income over £30,000 will be mandated from April 2027.”

This gives the self-employed sole traders and affected landlords more time to prepare for the switch. Furthermore, some very small businesses and landlords will now be below the initial thresholds and may not need to comply until all taxpayers are required to comply.

Why has the MTD for Income Tax been delayed?

The accounting and taxation profession had been putting pressure on the government to delay MTD, as it did not feel that tax payers or HMRC were ready for such changes. HMRC has officially stated that the reason behind this delay is to relieve pressure on businesses caused by the current economic environment.

Furthermore, HMRC currently believes a more gradual implementation of MTD will give affected taxpayers, accountants, and the government more time to prepare.

Does this mean you can forget about MTD?

Sorry, no! MTD is not going away, it has just been postponed and the criteria tweaked a little. It is still important to check that you are making plans to ensure you are ready for the changes before they become mandatory.

We are expecting HMRC to pull everyone into the new MTD system at some point in the future, regardless of income.

What about Partnerships……?

If your business trades as a partnership, then the above compliance dates will not apply. As it currently stands, HMRC have not got a compliance date for individuals trading within a partnership.

Article by L.A.Lamerton & Co Accountants – Tel 01752 255667 – This information is designed to assist understanding and does not cover all aspects applicable. We would strongly recommend that you refer to the governments published information at www.gov.uk e.& o. e.


Landlords Welcome Landmark Ruling from the Supreme Court

Posted on March 2nd, 2023 -

The following case provides vital clarification about the responsibilities of ‘rent-to-rent’ companies. Rent-to-rent companies take over the running of a property for a landlord.

The ruling in the case of Rakusen v Jepsen will have important implications for the private rented sector as a whole.

The landlord, Rakusen, agreed to let a flat to a rent-to-rent company. The property required a licence, but the company did not apply for one.

As a result of the failure to be licenced, the former tenants of the flat sought a Rent Repayment Order against Rakusen rather than the rent-to-rent company – even though he had not received rent directly from the tenants.

At an initial tribunal it was ruled that the Rent Repayment Order could be applied for against Rakusen. The Court of Appeal however later overturned the decision and ruled in Rakusen’s favour.

The Supreme Court ruled that where rent-to-rent companies take over the running of a property, they cannot shirk responsibility and expect to leave the landlord to pay for their legal failings.

Ben Beadle of the NRLA said “The ruling makes clear that it is the responsibility of rent-to-rent companies acting as a landlord to ensure that relevant legal requirements are met, since it is they who receive tenants’ rent. It is simply not right that such companies can take money from people without any responsibility for the property they are running.”

To read the full case background see https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2021-0188.html

Article Abridged from Property Industry Eye

SWLA General Speaker Meeting

Posted on March 1st, 2023 -

Wednesday 19th April 2023 @ 7.30pm Future Inn Plymouth, members and their guests welcome

Notice of a General Meeting



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