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Almost 1 million unregistered landlords uncovered

The sharp increase in buy-to-let mortgages led to many owners of second properties renting them out without understanding the responsibilities they have. In particular, there is some concern that many landlords may not be declaring rental profits.The HMRC recognised the scale of the problem as figures for buy-to-let mortgages failed to tally with landlord registrations. Information from banks shows that there are around 1.57 million buy-to-let mortgages, up around 120,000 in the last year alone. It is thought that there are some 1.4 million landlords in the UK, since the aim of most of these mortgages is to let out the property to tenants. However, only 500,000 landlords have registered as such.Accountancy firms have suggested that landlords are now being targeted for further investigation, since many may be keeping their earnings quiet rather than declaring them to the Inland Revenue. Landlords are allowed to deduct certain expenses from their income, such as mortgage payments and maintenance. Tax should then be paid on the remainder, at the highest rate applicable for the landlord (that is, on top of their other earnings).Buy-to-let mortgages have not previously been subject to the same strict requirements as regular mortgages, meaning that if investors have a large enough deposit they have been able to gain second homes ahead of first-time buyers. The boom in house prices means that they are unlikely to lose on their asset, and can earn rental income from it along the way. Changes in UK and EU rules are likely to make it harder for landlords to secure buy-to-let mortgages in the future.Do you have issues surrounding a rental property? Talk to us. We are experienced rental property specialists and can give you the expert advice you need. Call 01302 320621 or email business@athertongodfrey.co.uk

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