With effect from 2 April 2012 the maximum right to buy discount for council tenants has been increased to £75,000.
This constitutes a considerable change in policy by the present government. Previously, right to buy had become unattractive , by capping the amount of discounts according to location. In most of greater London for example the maximum discount was only £16,000.
The right to buy discount available depends on the amount of time the tenant has occupied the property. For freehold houses, the discount starts at 35% and increases at 1% per year to 60%. For leasehold flats the starting figure is 50%, rising to 70% at 2% per annum. For example, if you wanted to buy a flat worth £200,000 and had been a public sector tenant for ten years, you would qualify for a 60 per cent discount (£120,000). However, the maximum discount is £75,000. This means that if the flat was worth £200,000, you could buy it for £125,000. It is also important to realise that if the property is sold within 5 years of the right to buy then some of the discount will have to be repaid. More information on eligibility and discounts can be found on the Direct Gov website.
Following the recent budget announcements there are changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax for 2012 and beyond.
As expected the first time buyers relief for purchases up to £250,000 has been withdrawn. All other rates and bands remain the same for both residential and non- residential property. However, a new rate and band has been introduced at 7% for residential properties over £2 Million pounds. There has also been a tightening of Stamp Duty avoidance for such properties (see note (2) below)
Rate Residential Property (1) Non Residential 0% £0 - £125,000 £0 - £150,000 1% £125,001 - £250,000 £150,001 - £250,000 3% £250,001 - £500,000 £250,001 - £500,000 4% £500,001 - £1,000,000 £500,001 + 5% £1,000,001 - £2,000,000 7% £2,000,001 + (2)
(1) From Mid July 2011 onwards, bulk purchases of residential property will only be subject to Stamp Duty Land Tax at the average value of each property rather than the total value of all the properties being purchased in bulk. See example here.
(2) Residential properties over £2,000,000 and purchased by "non natural persons" i.e. a limited company, will be subject to 15% stamp duty from 22 Mar 2012. This closes the previous 'loophole' where property could be transferred into a limited company therefore becoming a company asset. The property could then be purchased by buying the companies shares which only attracted 0.5% stamp duty rather than 5% (2011). This article gives interesting insight into how these changes might affect the buoyant Central London housing Market.
How is a jointly owned property spilt if a cohabiting couple separate?
A recent landmark case after a Supreme Court ruling now gives cohabitees more rights to negotiate their share of a jointly owned property if a relationship breaks down.
Previously when a cohabiting couple separate it has generally been assumed, in the absence of a deed of trust, that the courts, when deciding how the jointly owned property is to be split, will not take account of needs or financial commitments made by either party. This would generally result in a 50:50 spilt between the couple.
In a survey by Rackspace of 2,000 adults, almost a third of people have assets online they will include in their will and 11% have already done so. 1 in 4 people already have more than £200 of digital assets protected by passwords. A quarter said they had "special photos" stored online, one in 10 had treasured videos and the same number kept sentimental emails from loved ones. So our digital treasures are growing rapidly and so is our digital iheritance. So should I update my will?
Now that the Finance Act 2011 is in force, multiple purchases of residential property could cut your stamp duty land tax bill from 5% to 1%.
Under the new relief, the rate of SDLT will be based on the average consideration paid for each dwelling with an overall minimum rate of 1%. The rate is not automatic but can be claimed by the purchaser. Let's look at an example to see the benefits.
Uk owners of French holiday homes can breathe a sigh of relief. Plans to introduce a new property tax from January have been scrapped says Citywire columnist Lorne Bourke. The proposed new tax law was approved by French MP's but President Sarkozy removed it via an amendment. This was due to concerns that it would generate "bad publicity". It was also thought that the new law might be challenged under European law as a "discrimination against non-residents and a barrier to the free movemnet of capital" according to John Lichfield in the Independant.
If the law had been passed then British owners of French holiday homes would have been obliged to pay a tax of 20% of the theoretical annual rental value of the property, even if it was not let out! Houses let out full time would have been exempt.
This article is intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham & Jordan Solicitors, in Wimborne Dorset, cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article or any external articles it may refer or link to.
Now may be the time to put those old farm buildings to use as the Government is now urging councils in rural areas to consider changing their planning permission policies to allow the conversion of unused farm buildings for residential use, rather than insisting that they only be used as farm buildings.
Most have heard about the rise in identity theft which was recently highlighed by a report in the Observer online and hopefully we are all taking steps to minimize the chances of it occurring. But many will not be aware of Property Title Fraud where fraudsters also ‘steal’ legitimate property titles.
This will very much depend on whether the title to your property is registered or unregistered. If your land is Registered Land.....
Traditionally, first time buyers have been the foundation upon which the housing market has been based. Without the first time buyer at the bottom of the property ladder, those already on the way up the rungs had been unable to continue to move on up.