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Superstrike Ltd Vs Rodrigues

Latest court ruling put landlords into panic

On the 14th June 2013 the Lord Justice Lloyd handled the appeal on the Superstrike v Rodriguez case. The outcome of this appeal has put the lettings world in turmoil for private landlords and letting agents, as well as all the Deposit Schemes who are still seeking legal advice. Online property forums are in full discussion as well as landlord governing bodies.

This particular case is because a tenant entered an Assured Shorthold Tenancy(AST) prior to April 2007, which meant the deposit did not have to be protected. The tenancy was for twelve months and expired in January 2008, it then proceeded into a statutory periodic tenancy(SPT). Now up to this point, this has been the procedure we have all been advised to do, the rules stated that only when you entered a new AST did you need to protect the deposit.

The case however, brings up rightly that when a tenancy is allowed to go into a SPT this is deemed as a new distinct tenancy and not a continuation and therefore the deposit should have been protected. And, because of this when the landlords took the tenants to court on a Section 21 notice, the court refused to recognise it.

The majority of landlords will have tenants in AST’s that started after April 2007, but if you have a tenant prior to this date and thought there was no need to protect, then my advice is to protect it now, as it would show your good intentions.

However, the dilemma now falls with periodic tenancies now being classed as new distinct tenancies and this is where problems may arise and why the deposit schemes are seeking legal advice because their own website clearly say you do not need to protect a deposit again if in a monthly rollover. And if each new month is a new distinct tenancy are we to renew monthly? What about guarantors who were on the original tenancy, do they not continue?

This is likely to go to the Supreme Court, so you can watch this space or put your tenants in a new tenancy and be covered.

HMRC Targets Buy to Let Landlords

HMRC have launched 12 task forces aimed at targeting landlords with 3 or more properties in 2011/12 and more in 2012/13. The buy-to-let taskforce will specifically target tax evasion among buy-to-let landlords who own or rent out more than three properties.

HMRC taskforces form part of the government's aim to raise an additional £7bn a year by 2014/15 through tackling tax evasion, avoidance and fraud. Mike Wells director of risk and intelligence at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is quite clear –“ if you deliberately seek to evade tax we can and will track you down and you'll face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well."

The Task forces will gain information from Banks Mortgage applications Land registry Electoral rolls Council tax records Letting agents Rumour also has it the Deposit Scheme implemented in April 2006 was part of collecting data on landlords as the start of the big brother affect. It is thought the HMRC have identified 80,000 landlords who may have claimed too much tax relief or who have failed to declare all the rent received. Property investors who sold homes several years ago have also been pinpointed as well as overseas landlords.

Of course, if you keep accurate records and declare everything you have nothing to worry about. If you want to keep up to date with the latest information with the lettings industry then email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive our monthly newsletter.

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