Residential Property Spotlight

Posted by Lorna Munro on
Welcome to Blake Morgan's first edition of Residential Property Spotlight, bringing you a round-up of the topics most relevant to you and your clients.

Stamp Duty Land Tax update

Over the past few months, Blake Morgan has been monitoring the impact of the additional 3% surcharge in SDLT on multiple dwellings. To help our clients, we have reflected on the different scenarios where individuals may be impacted by the 3% surcharge, to provide guidance on how much SDLT would be payable.

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We have also seen that one of the areas which causes the greatest difficulty is the exception from liability for transactions which involve the replacement of the buyer’s only or main residence and the associated three-year conditions. Read more about the replacement of a buyers only or main residence here.

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Granny flats and other dwellings were also an area of concern, and recently the SDLT legislation has been changed to provide more clarity. Someone buying a property which counts as two dwellings would be liable to an extra 3% SDLT on the whole price above the 'normal' SDLT that would be due. This is the case even if it is the buyer’s only property or if it is replacing the buyer’s only or main residence. We look at which properties could be seen as multiple dwellings and how the rules would play out in different situations.

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New residence nil rate band – coming in April 

From 6 April 2017, there will be a new RNRB for an estate where a person leaves his/her home, or a share of it, to direct descendants, such as children or grandchildren. 

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The new RNRB is being introduced because family home values are pushing relatively modest estates over the existing nil rate band. We explain how you don’t need to hang on to your home for your descendants to benefit from the relief. 

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Planning for an Autonomous World?

If the Autumn Statement disclosed anything about the Chancellor's life at 11 Downing Street, it's that traffic on Whitehall is getting worse and Mr Hammond hasn't the time to drive himself to work. Well, that is one take on the commitment to spend £390 million to support development of low emission and autonomous vehicles. But what will this mean for road users, rural properties and the future in planning terms? 

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A person's right to rent

Many landlords and managing agents may be unaware of the changes that came into force in England on 1 February 2016 and introduced a "Right to Rent" scheme. This requires them to check the immigration status of all proposed occupants. 

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Westminster gets tough on Subterranean Basements

Westminster Council has just set up a dedicated "subterranean squad" to ferret out "basement nuisance busters", the first of its kind in the UK. A new levy, varying between £8,000 and £30,000 depending on the size of the proposed scheme, will be rolled out across the borough to apply to all new basement applications.

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To Airbnb or not to Airbnb? Short term renting of homes

As a result of recent regulatory changes, it is now easier than ever to make money from short term holiday lets. The government's intention in making the changes was to encourage and increase private enterprise. However we have experienced assured shorthold tenants, who have signed for say six or 12 months, who have sought to let out the property to occupiers using websites such as Airbnb to achieve a profit rental, without the consent of their own landlord.

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If you have any queries or would like further information on how we can help you, please contact your usual Blake Morgan adviser.

About the Author

Lorna is Head of the Residential Property team and handles all types of residential conveyancing work

Lorna Munro
Email Lorna
023 8085 7122

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