14 Nov 2019

Landlord conference explores opportunities and challenges for 2020

Landlord conference explores opportunities and challenges for 2020

Aberdein Considine and tax experts from Anderson Anderson Brown (AAB) again teamed up to host a Landlord Breakfast Briefing at Aberdeen's P&J Live today.

Adrian Sangster, National Lettings Director at Aberdein Considine, kicked things off discussing the sector's new tribunal scheme, before Stuart Petrie of AAB talked through some of the tax changes hitting buy-to-let investors.

The new Housing and Property Chamber Tribunal has buy-to-let investors facing up to 32 weeks in limbo as the new eviction process runs its course, according to analysis from Aberdein Considine solicitors.

The chamber was formed in 2017 to deal with rent and repair issues in private sector housing and to relieve pressure on Scotland’s courts.

However, it has been hit with a high - and ever increasing - case load. More than 3,800 applications have been made in the past year alone.

As a result, a typical eviction application process is leaving landlords with several months of unpaid arrears, and unable to re- let their properties for more than eight months.

AAB tax experts covered three main tax changes:

  • The full restriction of tax relief on mortgage loan interest
  • Significant reductions to tax reliefs on the sale of properties that landlords ever lived in as their main residence
  • Huge reductions to the current timescales for both reporting & paying tax on the sale of residential properties

One of our Solicitor Advocates, Carly Stewart, later explained how the First Tier Tribunal has caused widespread eviction delays.

Whilst tribunal applications are progressing more quickly than a year ago, the time taken from lodging an application to a Case Management Discussion (CMD) is around three months, but that is in a straightforward case.

If an eviction order is granted at the first CMD, the tenant cannot be evicted until the 30 day appeal period has passed. Critically, for landlords, this means that even if everything goes smoothly, if a tenant is being evicted for non-payment of rent, there are likely to be arrears of at least seven and eight months, or much longer in many cases, all before a landlord can re-let the property.

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