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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Landlords freeze repairs to rental properties this winter

Tenants who request anything other than the most urgent repairs will face an uphill struggle this winter, according to research from accountancy firm HW Fisher & Company.

In a study of residential landlords, it was revealed that almost a third (31%), intend to spend less than £250 on maintaining furniture and fixtures before the current tax year ends in April.

The amount of landlords who plan to spend the bare minimum has more than doubled in the last year, where 14% of landlords spent less than £250.

A reluctance to spend on maintenance in this tax year has been triggered by a planned change in landlords’ tax allowance as of April 2016.

Under the current wear-and-tear allowance, landlords are paid a fixed amount regardless of whether they have spent money replacing any of the furniture or fittings replaced.

In April, these rules will be scrapped, and instead of giving landlords a flat rate reduction of 10% of their rental income, they will only be able to deduct costs which they actually incur.

Tim Walford-Fitzgerald, Tax Principal at HW Fisher & Company, explains: “The new system is intended to be fairer and more transparent, only giving landlords tax relief for the money they really pay out.”

“It’s not surprising that many are holding off on all but the most essential maintenance until the next tax year. This is smart tax planning – but it was come as little comfort to tenants struggling with battered furniture and tatty carpets in their homes,” he added.

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