Is all new landlord and letting agent legislation primarily for data capture? | Discuss

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Is all new landlord and letting agent legislation primarily for data capture?
25/04/2014
10:38 am
bigeasy
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Having just read this latest post from Paul R. I thought I would start up a new thread;

 

Regarding deposit protection schemes in general; I am still baffled why government feels it needs to bring in any legislation that interferes with a private agreement between two parties if neither of those parties is classed as vulnerable. I know that some may think that it is a good idea but I have never thought that the legislative enforced deposit protection scheme was for anything other than a data capture exercise for the HMRC. I unfortunately believe that every piece of legislation that is brought out by this government is to capture data that is relevant to taxing us in the future and that includes the new MMR criteria that we see coming in to force today.. – See more at: http://www.landlordreferencing…..-deposits/

 

Unfortunately I tend to agree with you Paul, and just wondered what other landlords and letting agents thought?

25/04/2014
3:39 pm
David Price
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Data collection and taxation was my first thought when deposit legislation was introduced.  I have not altered my opinion.

Essentially Landlords are being given a huge administrative overhead so that HMRC can check their potential income.  I do not believe it will be long before we are taxed on the maximum theoretical income unless we can prove otherwise.

I do not take and have never taken deposits.

26/04/2014
10:52 am
Mary Latham
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Something that has always amazed me is the lack of sharing of data!!

Local authories had no idea how many landlords were letting HMO’s when they needed to licence the mandatory ones, they did not know who the landlords were for many that they did know about – they have to PAY Land registry just like anyone else.  They do not know the state of a property where LHA is being paid – Housing Benefit departments cannot share their info with Environmental Health. If  they want to target cold properties during the winter they have to go to the EPC register as anyone else does. Most of them haven’t got lists of landlords in their area to invite them to consultations – they do not amalgamate Licensed landlords, HB landlords, those who they have prosecuted, those who are letting to them on leasing schemes….  Most departments have different operational systems and they cannot easily be aggregated! 

I am working with 2 Environmental Health Officers, in different areas at the moment, to establish just how much Data Protection is preventing the sharing of relevant information that would remove the need for a lot of their overheads and reduce the cost of licensing to landlords.  I have been able to find out more from the public domain than they have from internal departments and other agencies.

I’m sorry but it is a myth that Big Brother knows what we are doing because Big Brother doesn’t even know what Little Brother is doing.

Universal Credit means that for the first time all the benefit agencies must share data to establish the single payment and this has meant a BIG data sharing protocol has been put in place.  Have you ever wondered how people can commit benefit fraud?  I can tell you – because each department does not know what the others are doing and each authority does not know how is being paid benefits and this enables those who understand the system to defraud us of millions of pounds

 

Only this year has GasSafe introduced a tool on their site called Gas Map – this shows the incidents of dangerous appliances and installations by post code but they CANNOT show the full address of the property because of Data Protection

Between the Fire Services, Child Protection, Environmental Health, NHS, Citizens Advice, Education Department, they have enough data to enable them to prevent domestic most crime – THEY CANNOT SHARE IT – Data Protection.

In my opinion society would be much better off if MORE data was shared and only those who are doing wrong should be at all concerned about this. I would not want my private affairs to be in the public domain but as a landlord I am choosing to be in a very important business, where I am affecting the lives of other people therefore I have no problem with my business data being shared. If this happened and I didn’t like it I would stop being a landlord

As far as HMRC is concerned if everyone paid their dues I might have less to pay!!

Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets

26/04/2014
5:34 pm
David Price
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Mary Latham said
Something that has always amazed me is the lack of sharing of data!!

Mary I think you may have misinterpreted my comment, it is not data sharing that I object to it is the sneaky way in which we are being hoodwinked into supplying that data to HMRC via deposit protection.  Why should tenants deposits be protected when my deposit to the local tool hire company is completly unregulated?  Why should a government care about money exchanged willingly between consenting parties?  The answer is of course they don’t but they do want to know who is making a profit and not declaring it for tax purposes.

As to the Data Protection Act, on balance I feel we would be better without it.  It does little to protect my data from the people I do not wish to have it but totally inhibits the easy exchange of important data, where the tenant who did a runner now lives for instance. 

The Data Protection Act is known in my circles as the Criminals Charter.

Mary Latham said
As far as HMRC is concerned if everyone paid their dues I might have less to pay!!

Sorry Mary it does not work that way.  If everyone paid the government would get more, you and I would pay the same. Smile

26/04/2014
6:38 pm
Mary Latham
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David I was not responding to your post in particular but to the title of this discussion.

I have no way of knowing but I would be surprised if the deposit protection people were sharing with HMRC – not that I particularly mind either way.

Having been involved in the deposit protection legislation when it was drafted I can tell you with certainty that it was in response to a NCAB report which sited the % of people of those asked who had had deposits withheld in full or in part by landlords. It was a very unscientific survey – from memory only those who visited a NCAB office on a given day were asked – around 500 and this did not meet the criteria for an official survey. Unfortunately it captured the imaginations of MP’s at the time the Housing Bill 2004 was being drafted and it got lumped in.

Yes I agree Date Protection does more to damage the business of landlords than anything else – especially when dealing with LHA claims or abandonment.

Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets

26/04/2014
7:25 pm
David Price
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Mary Latham said
I have no way of knowing but I would be surprised if the deposit protection people were sharing with HMRC – not that I particularly mind either way.

I recall about nine months ago HMRC requested (read demanded) data about a certain landlord whom they suspected.  Unfortunately I have lost the reference.  My real objection is that this is the thin end of the wedge.

My son drove down from Yorkshire to Kent last month and before he left sent me a link to a website which allowed me to track his progress and have the kettle boiling when he arrived.  The system, GPS plus mobile data, was accurate enough to show that he was driving on the left hand side of the road.  This was an opt in system but it only takes a small extension to allow any authority, HMRC perhaps, to follow the movements of any individual with unprecedented accuracy.  Big Brother is watching and soon we shall all be speaking newspeak.

Double plus ungood.

28/04/2014
2:39 pm
Adam Hosker
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Today, Is the deadline in which my Letting Agency has to feed back to HMRC under legislation via threat of significant fines. Supply HMRC with total rent received, landlord, property address.

We should presume TDeposit Schemes share such information too; whilst others may fear “being caught out” my main worry is any inconstancies! all these organisations reporting data on you to HMRC and others may differ from what you supply – human error available from any!

Whilst; I agree with Mary. They tend not to share data very well, HMRC have reported many times on a landlord crackdown and would be no surprise to me if efforts are being made in exposing tax efficient / tax avoiding landlords in current legislation and enforcing data sharing capabilities.

28/04/2014
4:01 pm
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To be honest with you, my letting agency has been asked by HMRC to provide all details of landlords and rents charged etc practically every year I have done it.  Its ball ache, its a pain  etc, but unfortunately they have asked for me, and they have had to give it.  Its extra work for the staff as its not just a click of a few buttons, and we do resent having to do it.

Personally, I think we have been unlucky with it all, as have also had at least 3 tax inspections in the last ten years from the HMRC regarding the non resident landlord scheme.  🙁

Cathy

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