A word from an ex­pert on… Buy­ing a coun­try es­tate with ten­ants

Country Life Every Week - - Property News -

Know what you’re get­ting into—and how you can save money—says Boo­dle Hat­field’s Ed­ward Allen

The first thing to do is to es­tab­lish the ba­sis on which ten­ants oc­cupy cot­tages on an es­tate. Res­i­den­tial ten­ants can have sig­nif­i­cant rights and it may not be pos­si­ble to ob­tain va­cant pos­ses­sion merely by ter­mi­nat­ing the rel­e­vant ten­ancy agree­ment. In some cases, there is no writ­ten ten­ancy agree­ment in place at all, adding fur­ther com­pli­ca­tion. Agri­cul­tural work­ers may even en­joy both the right to re­main in oc­cu­pa­tion and an ac­com­pa­ny­ing right of suc­ces­sion for their fam­i­lies.

Se­cond, when pur­chas­ing an es­tate with more than one res­i­dence on it, there are some com­monly missed Stamp Duty (SDLT) ben­e­fits. For ex­am­ple, six or more dwellings on an es­tate all pur­chased at the same time may at­tract non-res­i­den­tial

rates of SDLT cap­ping at 5%, rather than res­i­den­tial rates with a 15% top rate. Sep­a­rately, Mul­ti­ple Dwellings Re­lief is avail­able when­ever more than one dwelling is sold and should also be con­sid­ered.

If the dwellings are let, then the buyer will need to take ad­vice to en­sure all the ap­pro­pri­ate de­duc­tions are made when com­put­ing the rental income on which tax will be payable. Such de­duc­tions in­clude the costs of advertising, any manag­ing agents’ fees and rel­e­vant mort­gage-in­ter­est costs. Ed­ward Allen is a so­lic­i­tor in the prop­erty team at Boo­dle Hat­field. Visit www.boodle­hat­field.com or tele­phone 020–7079 8119

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