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Holiday Homes loophole leaves renting almost impossible in some cities

The HMRC views holiday lets as a trade rather than investments. This means mortgage interest costs can be offset against any income for tax purposes. If you have used a mortgage or loan to pay for a holiday let, you can claim the interest of repayments back against your tax.

Holiday lets count as a business which means the expenses from your rental income can be deducted before you are taxed. This includes the interest you pay on your mortgage. For buy-to-let properties, on the other hand, the law has changed, and this is no longer the case.

It means letting holiday homes has become a relatively cheaper expense and is therefore more profitable if you are occupied for most of the year.

This is leading to quite a few cases where long term tenants are being evicted from their homes, so the landlord can do it up – as one requirement is that it is adequately furnished – and rent to tourists looking for a home, away from home. Plymouth has become a city of holiday lets and in fact so much so, they have an ongoing petition to slow it down.

Cornwall has 62 homes to rent on Rightmove but 10,290 Airbnb listings. In one village in Wales, three quarters of the houses are holiday homes.

Anything that reduces cost will look attractive, particularly in this climate where the three-month temporary solace of mortgage holidays offered a preview to an advantage that could be experienced permanently (for now anyhow), as a landlord, if you just made the switch.

Ruthless Impact

Tenants become vulnerable to eviction, through no fault of their own, when regular landlords aspire to become holiday let landlords.

This becomes even more real during these uncertain times of Covid. As we are being asked to holiday at home the opportunity for these holiday lets arises with the threat of eviction rising too. The eviction ban lifted from protecting tenants in May 2021. Tenants could find themselves on the street with no roof over their head. 

This generation, looking to buy a home in their childhood neighbourhood stand no chance with fewer residential properties to purchase and the ceiling prices unreachable. Renting too will be impossible with higher demand and higher rent. Young people will be unlikely to afford.

Ironically, local business owners who require a workforce to keep their businesses running to cater for tourists, will struggle finding the workforce who have nowhere to live locally.

Should the loophole be closed?

Removing the holiday let mortgage relief would return the incentive to prioritise people looking for a home, not a holiday.

It would open up a more competitive rental market for those wanting to live in these sought-after holiday towns where many grew up/want to return to.

It’s tricky because the nation has become more accustomed to Air BnB or Booking.com, as opposed to the traditional hotel establishments. We increasingly opt for a more ‘authentic’ travel, where you can experience the city, the way the locals do, including living like they live. A home away from home.

Maybe the answer is to incentivise regular landlords who simply rent to those that need a home to level out the playing field.

Spotted: Homes Under the Hammer August 2017 Savills aired last week!

Gosh who knew. Be careful what you wish for. I’ve always wanted to be on Homes under the Hammer little did I know I actually was! There is nowhere to hide in the auction room.  

Fairly new to Property Investment, Delores, my business partner, and I went off to Auction to dabble back in June 2017. We ended up bidding on a flat which we didn’t win – we had been outbid before we even started! See clip below.

As newbies we had no idea someone would go straight in and start the bidding at £25k (for a short lease property) ABOVE guide which totally threw us.  Today we enter the room with far more knowledge of price, experience of the process and gumption and often walk away with what we went for! Having a strategy and doing your research before auction is key. Don’t leave home without it.

It’s funny that even back then we had a thing about garages and I recall that attracted us to this property. One of our themes seems to be garages. They have so much potential on many levels and can support future growth especially now in lockdown.

What’s your property theme?

Help to Buy -v- Shared Ownership

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The Property market gets the green light to reopen today

Lockdown rules eased for homebuyers and sellers

The Government yesterday announced new regulations that will lift the seven week freeze on property viewings and home moves.  Effectively the green light.

People will now be allowed to travel to visit estate agents and view properties. The announcement follows guidance which signalled that surveyors could return to work.  

Although this is positive news for the property industry it appears to be frustrating for others as they argue that it is bizarre you can walk into a stranger’s home to peruse and take your time viewing but you are not allowed to visit close family members to do the same thing.

Does any of this actually make sense?

I believe it does because we are all different and will have different priorities.  We have to start somewhere.  Much of it is actually down to common sense.

Since the sector has been suspended since the end of March new sales have dropped off.  The process of buying and selling a house is now going to be radically different. The guidelines are being finalised but what we know now is that doors should be left open around homes when viewers are in attendance and washing hands and social distancing maintained.  

Mortgages

Getting a mortgage is still a big issue.  Self employed people amongst many others have seen their salaries plummet during the Covid-19 outbreak.  It is estimated that more than 450,000 buyers and renters have been unable to progress their plans to move home since March. Therefore, re opening the doors may not mean very much to those who now cannot afford to sell or buy.

Should the light be amber rather than green?

The fear is not going away. We’re all scared, and we are going to have to live with an element of fear going forwards.  The government have said that we are now past the peak so there is hope but no guarantees.  

We know that once the green light is on you have to drive forwards and cannot stop start to cause an even bigger accident.

This long Bank Holiday as it is now called is going to have to come to an end at some point that we can be sure of because the cost on our economy, our schools, the taxpayer and our sanity is off the scale. 

One in a Hundred

F : Entrepreneur celebrates the dynamic and inspirational businesses led by women in the UK. Last year they launched the #ialso100 campaign. A Hall of Fame of 100 female founders who were recognised for their inspiring stories, business journeys and the multi-dimensional, fast paced lives they were living to the full. I was in awe of every single one of the class of 2019. Many I had the good fortune of meeting and getting to know. This year I’ve joined the class of #ialso100 2020 (https://f-entrepreneur.com/ialso-100-2020/)

They went into my closets looking for skeletons, but thank God, all they found were shoes, beautiful shoes’. Imelda Marcos

Lorraine’s Shoe Collection

You could say I’m the Imelda Marcos of Streatham. Because I have a shoe closet full of shoes (and handbags). And I step into a carefully chosen pair to match an outfit and an event. I also (you can see the inspiration behind the name of the campaign) step into so many roles over and above my role as a Property Developer. I’ve said ‘yes’ to additional commitments because they touch my heart, feed my soul or provide me with a route to putting something back. I believe you rise by lifting and inspiring others. Always have. This post is for all of those of you who also step into many shoes and are making it their goal to be in the #ialso100 class of 2021. 

Lorraine the Property Investor

For the last two years, I have run View From My Window www.viewfrommywindow.co.uk A property investment and development business currently developing a £3.1m project and smaller residential projects with my business partner Delores. It was born out of a belief that ordinary people can dream big and lead the lives they want to lead. Right here. Right now. 

Previously privilege would stop many who did not have access to funding, big accountants, lawyers and financial advisors. Now I believe the only thing that can stop you is you and the fear of failure.  

Through coaching, mentoring and joint venture partnerships, I provide the confidence, tools and techniques to step into the world of property with very little or no money. 

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Lorraine’s #ialso life (a tiny tiny snapshot)

Before starting my property journey I said goodbye to marketing and business development (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/360-degree-me-lorraine-thomas/ ) and my very decent salary working in major law firms in the City to care for my father who was suffering with Parkinsons and Dementia and earned £62.50 pw on a carer’s allowance.

I used that experience to help others. To be honest I never felt richer with the blessings that came my way from taking that action.

#ialso was invited to join the Lambeth Carers network which feeds into writing the mandate to shape the provision for Carers in Lambeth.  

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