Well, it is a law. Letting agents don't have a choice and need to pay tax to HMRC from your rent. You like it or not... There is no one to be blamed for it.
Obviously the real estate is currently owned by either you or an abroad based company. These rules are not for UK established companies which own real estate. Ideally you may wish to transfer the property from the current owner to the other legal entity but there is a Stamp Duty to pay in this scenario which makes a transfer very expensive.
You either accept the way it works at the moment or you can look at alternatives. For those of you who are considering a sale of the real estate in a few to several months there is a clear alternative. It is Rent to Buy. It works very simply. There is a buyer who signed a contract and paid a deposit today and rented the property typically over 3-5 years after which we complete the purchase.
The beauty of it for you is that it is no longer a rental agreement but a sale agreement with guaranteed monthly contractual payments in contrast to standard rent. Because of it there is no deduction to HM Revenue and Customs.
There are other significant factors as well:
You probably also save a lot of time and money on sale as well. There is no estate agent fee, no maintenance after your tenants leave a property, no time wasted on looking for the proper buyer.
So if you want to keep real estate in the UK forever it is probably not an option for you. However if your plan is to sell at some point in future you should discuss it with us.
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