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Is Forfeiture the Answer?

michael_smeatonLocal high streets, town centres and out of town retail parks are all sporting empty units as retailers continue to find market conditions tough. In the last 12 months we have seen some big names disappear such as House of Fraser, HMV and Better Bathrooms and we have seen other retailers reduce their portfolio by closing stores such as Marks and Spencer and John Lewis.

Commercial landlords will normally have an early warning when businesses are struggling as they will often default on rental payments. Depending on the terms of the lease, landlords may have the right to forfeit the lease for non-payment, bringing the lease to an end and giving the landlord an opportunity to re-let the property. But in these tough times is that the landlord’s best option?

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Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Changes Proposed for non-UK Residents

fergal_o_cleirighOn the 6 May 2019, a 12 week consultation by the Government on proposed changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rates for non-UK residents will come to an end.

This is the Government’s latest scheme to assist people to get on the property ladder. Their main focus is on building more homes but, as this takes time, they are looking at solutions that will have a more immediate effect.

The changes were initially proposed by Theresa May back in Autumn 2018, citing evidence that the purchase of property in England and Northern Ireland by non-UK residents was pushing up house prices for UK residents. At that stage the Government mooted introducing an additional surcharge on properties bought by non-UK residents of either 1% or 3%.

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Property News: Stamp Duty Land Tax update

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The rules regarding stamp duty land tax (‘SDLT’) have recently been updated, for the third time in two years. Bermans has previously looked at the impact of the introduction of SDLT higher rates, which came into force on 1 April 2016, in two articles which can be found here and here. These articles also provide clarification as to when a purchase may be exempt from higher rates.

This article, however, focuses on the recent changes arising under the 2017 autumn budget, as well as the newly introduced Land Transaction Tax (‘LTT’), payable on the purchase price of properties in Wales from 1 April 2018.

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Take control of your lease

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Many businesses will take on business premises for a fixed time period and then only consider important milestone dates once they arrive, sometimes using a reminder from their landlord as a trigger.

Bermans can help you take control of the process and put you in a better bargaining position with your landlord by considering all options.  We are offering a FREE lease review service and have created this simple step by step guide to help you.

 

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HMRC updates guidance on the higher rates of stamp duty land tax

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The implementation of the supplemental 3% stamp duty land tax (‘SDLT’) charge came into force on 1 April 2016. Bermans has previously looked at the impact of the higher rates of SDLT, particularly in relation to its effect on individual joint purchasers, in an article that can be found here. In this article we look at the charges in relation to companies, partnerships, trusts and inherited properties.

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Buy to let landlords under attack

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Recent changes in legislation, as part of Government policy to encourage first time buyers and owner – occupier purchases, have focused on the position of buy to let landlords.

As from April 2017 the reduction of tax relief on finance costs to the basic rate of tax will begin to be phased in and this will be fully in place from April 2020. In November guidance was given on the increases in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) which were first announced a year earlier .The position is as follows:

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