Can some­one shed some light on this?

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Ask The Expert - Fiona McNulty

QMY DAUGH­TER lives in the top-floor flat of an Ed­war­dian ter­race prop­erty. There are dormer win­dows and a sky­light in the roof, which we be­lieve were in place when the 999-year leases were first drawn up back in the Nineties. Are th­ese dormer win­dows and sky­light a shared cost when it comes to do­ing re­pairs, which at least one dormer badly needs?

ALEASES vary and as there is no stan­dard tem­plate, your daugh­ter should check the terms of hers be­fore she does any­thing about the work re­quired.

The flat in which she has a lease­hold in­ter­est will be re­ferred to as the demised premises — the lease should de­fine the ex­tent of those premises and should also de­fine the com­mon parts of the build­ing. The lease should also im­pose ex­press re­pair­ing covenants on the lease­holder and land­lord.

Look care­fully at the de­scrip­tion of the demised premises and at the lease­holder’s re­pair­ing covenants to see if the dormer win­dows and sky­light are men­tioned. Your daugh­ter will be re­spon­si­ble for re­pair­ing the demised premises.

Gen­er­ally a land­lord is re­spon­si­ble for the re­pair of the fab­ric of the build­ing which usu­ally means the struc­ture and ex­te­rior, in­clud­ing the roof and win­dows. If re­spon­si­bil­ity for the dormer win­dows and sky­light is not cov­ered specif­i­cally in the lease, ex­am­ine the gen­eral re­pair­ing covenants in the lease to see if they as­sist with your query in any way.

Though the dormer win­dows and sky­light pre­sum­ably only serve your daugh­ter’s flat they are still part of the fab­ric of the build­ing, and so ar­guably are also the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the land­lord. We re­gret that ques­tions can­not be an­swered in­di­vid­u­ally, but we will try to fea­ture them here. Fiona McNulty is a so­lic­i­tor spe­cial­is­ing in res­i­den­tial prop­erty.

QI AM con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a house and then do­ing it up be­fore sell­ing it on. How­ever, I am wor­ried about all my prof­its van­ish­ing into the tax­man’s cof­fers. Will I end up pay­ing less tax if I set up a com­pany first and un­der­take my project as a busi­ness ven­ture, rather than per­son­ally? Or, on the other hand, as a com­pany would I have to pay ad­di­tional stamp duty?

AIF YOU buy the house in your own name and it costs more than £125,000, then stamp duty will be payable, cal­cu­lated on in­creas­ing por­tions of the prop­erty price over £125,000. In ad­di­tion, if you al­ready own a prop­erty an extra three per cent stamp duty will be payable on top of the nor­mal stamp duty rates, sub­ject to some ex­cep­tions.

On sale of the prop­erty, cap­i­tal gains tax will be payable on any gain af­ter de­duc­tion of any avail­able an­nual ex­emp­tions that you may have, at the rate of 18 per cent to 28 per cent.

You are likely to in­cur costs in set­ting up a com­pany. Stamp duty at three per cent above the nor­mal rates for res­i­den­tial prop­erty will be payable by the com­pany, and an­nual tax on en­veloped dwellings may be payable if the price of the house is over £500,000.

On sale of the prop­erty, cor­po­ra­tion tax will be due on any profit or gain, at the cur­rent rate of 19 per cent. There is also a po­ten­tial for a dou­ble tax charge if you take money out of the com­pany by way of a div­i­dend or cap­i­tal pay­ment, as in­come tax may be charge­able and cor­po­ra­tion tax should al­ready have been paid.

WHAT’S YOUR PROB­LEM? IF YOU have a ques­tion for Fiona McNulty, please email legal­so­lu­tions@ stan­dard.co.uk or write to Le­gal So­lu­tions, Homes & Prop­erty, Lon­don Evening Stan­dard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE.

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