HMRC Landlords Tax Checks . Central Housing Group

Lodger dodgers and Airbnb landlords may be targeted in Budget

A newspaper claims landlords who ‘game’ the current tax regime for short term lets and lodging may be in the firing line in the Budget on October 29.

Currently amateur landlords can claim up to £7,500 tax free per year through the Rent A Room allowance system by letting their spare rooms in properties where they live.

But the Sunday Times says the government suspects some landlords using Airbnb and similar short Let platforms are claiming the allowance on income derived from properties used solely for letting purposes, and where the landlords themselves do not live.

The Treasury has told the paper that the number of people claiming Rent A Room allowance rose 38 per cent between 2007-8 and 2014-15, the latest figures available.

The paper says new occupancy rules, drawn up following a formal consultation held by the government earlier this year, will be included in a Finance Bill to be published after the Budget.

It is thought that a residency requirement in the property on which tax relief is claimed is to be a central element of the new rules.

The consultation received 178 responses including one from room letting platform SpareRoom which has suggested some 170,000 individuals are renting out their spare rooms.

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