The festive period is truly underway at Howards and we can’t wait for Christmas Day!
We wish you and all your family a wonderful time during the seasonal period. We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead.
As part of the seasonal festivities, our opening times across all of our branches have been altered slightly. Please see below as to how it may affect you:
Friday 23rd - Normal business hours
Saturday 24th - Tuesday 27th - Closed
Wednesday 28th - Friday 30th - 10am - 4pm
Saturday 31st - Monday 2nd – Closed
Friday 23rd - Normal business hours
Saturday 24th - 8am - 2pm
Sunday 23rd - Tuesday 27th - Closed
Wednesday 28th - Friday 30th - 8am - 10pm
Saturday 31st - Monday 2nd - Closed
Gifting property to children is becoming more and more commonplace. As the price of property climbs ever higher, this is one solution families are using to get their children onto the property ladder. There are tax implications, however, and it may not be the solution to all your financial issues. Here we look at what happens if you decide to sell your property to a family member for a nominal value. Is this the same as gifting property to children? Yes. Although it will still require conveyancers to handle the legal aspects, the change in ownership will qualify as a gift. Legally it won’t be regarded as a sale, but a token value has to be involved. What do I need to do to sell my house for £1? A conveyancing solicitor will need to be instructed, in order to handle the transfer of the deeds from you to your son or daughter, or other family member. Contracts are still exchanged and completion dates confirmed. So there will still be legal fees to pay. If you own the property with a mortgage, it might not be possible to sell for a purely nominal figure like £1. If there is an amount outstanding on your mortgage, this will need to be covered by the person you are gifting the property to. So it would make sense for this to be the price of the gift. Nailed it! Our new Best Price Promise What are the other costs involved? Mortgage redemption costs for gifted property If you do still have a mortgage, are you in a discounted term? If so there will be a redemption figure to pay, along with any outstanding borrowing. Ask your solicitor to contact your mortgage provider for a mortgage redemption statement. Legal fees You will be charged legal fees by your solicitor, but as their workload is not as heavy as a conventional property sale it may be worth asking for a reduced fee. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on gifted property You are not liable to pay capital gains tax on gifted properties if it has been your Principal Private Residence. There will be CGT to pay if it was used as a business premises or rented out. From any CGT bill you can deduct capital improvement costs, stamp duty, legal fees and estate agents’ fees. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on gifted properties If there is no mortgage on the property, there will be no stamp duty incurred. Standard rates of stamp duty will apply if the mortgage exceeds the stamp duty threshold. Stamp duty is also paid if your child already owns another home and is either using the gifted property as a second home or renting it out. Inheritance Tax (IHT) on gifted properties This is one of the main reasons why people prefer to gift property, rather than leave it to children as part of their estate when they pass away. If you do not die within seven years of making the gift, there is no inheritance tax to pay. If parents die within three years, inheritance tax is charged at 40%. After this inheritance tax is charged at what is called ‘taper relief’, and only if the value of the gift exceeds the tax-free threshold. Income Tax on gifted properties There will only be income tax implications if your son or daughter chooses to rent out the property they are gifted, either to you or someone else. Capital gains tax will also need to be paid in this circumstances if the property is sold at a later date. Can I avoid care home fees by gifting my house? People may be tempted into thinking that gifting their property effectively ‘disposes’ of it, so it can’t be used to measure what you can afford should you have to go into a care home. However, this is seen as deliberate ‘deprivation of assets’, especially if the gift is made a short period of time before the care home fees are required to be paid. Local authorities will judge on what the intent was behind your decision to gift the property, and the value of the property will usually still be counted as part of your assets. Sign up today to be among the first to know about property for sale in your area. Can I give my child money to buy a house? Yes. If you want to help your son or daughter raise a deposit you can make a gift to them. All the beneficiary needs to do is provide written confirmation to their mortgage provider that it is a gift, so that it is clear it is not a loan that has to be repaid. Let us help value your property If you are thinking of gifting your house to your child, but are interested to know how much your property will be worth when it is transferred, please get in touch with us and we will provide a free property valuation for you.
If you are looking for a flat to rent and you only need one bedroom, you don’t necessarily need a one bedroom flat. If your budget is tight, or the area you want to live is expensive, a studio flat or studio apartment could be ideal. What is the difference between a studio flat and one bedroom flat? The main difference is that a studio flat has a single living space, with a separate bathroom, whereas a one bedroom flat has the bedroom in a separate room to the living area or lounge. Studio flats are usually smaller than one bedroom flats (but not always). In a studio flat the main living area will be arranged so that there is usually enough room for a bed, wardrobe and storage units, a lounge space for a sofa, coffee table and dining table, a kitchen or kitchenette. Nailed it! Our new Best Price Promise What should you consider when choosing a studio flat or one bedroom flat Advantages of a studio flat The main benefit is that the rental charge for studio flats will be lower than one bedroom flats of a similar standard and specification. Studio flats also tend to have a more spacious feel than one bedroom apartments. Another advantage is that studio flat tenants will usually have lower energy bills than those in one bedroom flats because there is a smaller space to heat. Never underestimate the fact it is also less space to clean! Advantages of a one bedroom flat The main advantage of a one bedroom flat is that the flat will have a more conventional floor plan, with the bedroom being in a separate room to the living room and kitchen. This gives more privacy for people living there. A couple, for example, could have different work patterns, so may have to sleep during times when their partner is at home in the living area. A one bedroom flat will usually mean a larger area for storage space too. Renting a studio flat Studio flat layout The common layout of a studio flat is composed of a main living space with a kitchen area or kitchenette, and a separate bathroom. People renting a studio often divide up the living space into separate areas by using things like floor to ceiling bookcases, room divider curtains or sliding doors. What is the minimum size for a studio flat? By law a studio flat has to be 70 square feet to house one tenant, and two tenants require minimum floor space of 110 square feet. A typical studio flat is around 250 square feet. The largest studio flats (excluding loft apartments) are usually about 600 square feet. Are all bills included with a studio flat? Sometimes landlords include all bills in the rental for a studio flat, but not always. Check with the letting agent whether bills like gas, electric, water and council tax are all-inclusive. Sign up today to be among the first to know about property to rent in your area. Different types of studio flat What is a self-contained studio flat? If accommodation is described as a ‘self-contained studio flat’, it means it is a single room with living space, kitchen and bathroom facilities self-contained within it. There are no shared facilities, but these kind of studio flats are likely to be much smaller than a typical studio. The ‘bathroom’ in a self-contained studio is likely to just be part of the single accommodation unit, rather than a separate room. What is a semi studio flat? A ‘semi-studio flat’ is a term increasingly used by letting agents to describe accommodation that is significantly smaller than an average studio flat or self-contained studio flat, but usually with the same basic elements. Some semi-studios are too small to have a sink, toilet and shower, so you may have to share bathroom facilities with other tenants of the building. Making the right choice for you If you want to know more about renting a studio flat or the types of studio flat Howards have available, talk to our expert team today!