Relief for replacement domestic items

9 May 2024
by
Zubaria Zafar

Relief for replacement domestic items

9 May 2024
by
Zubaria Zafar

Relief for replacement domestic items

Landlords letting residential property are not entitled to a deduction for the cost of the domestic items that they provide in the property. They are not able to claim capital allowances for the cost of those items either. However, relief is available when they replace the items, allowing the landlord to deduct the cost of the replacement, as long as the associated conditions are met. The relief is available regardless of whether the property business is an unincorporated property business or operated through a company. However, it is not available where the property is let as a furnished holiday letting or rent-a-room relief has been claimed.

What counts as a ‘domestic item’?

Domestic items are items for domestic use such as:

  • moveable furniture, such as sofas, beds, tables and chairs;
  • furnishings, such as curtains, rugs and carpets;
  • household appliances, such as fridges, freezers, microwaves and washing machines; and
  • kitchenware, such as utensils, crockery and cutlery.

However, ‘fixtures’ do not count as domestic items and do not qualify for the relief. ‘Fixtures’ are items that are installed in or fixed to the residential property so that they become part of it. Boilers or water-filled radiators which become part of a space or water-heating system are also regarded as fixtures.

You may also like to read: Reduction in higher rate of capital gains tax on residential property gains

Conditions

To claim a deduction for the cost of a replacement domestic item, the following four conditions must be met.

  1. The individual or company claiming the relief must be carrying on a property business that includes the letting of a residential property.
  2. An old domestic item which has been provided for use in the property is replaced with the purchase of a new domestic item. The new item must be provided for the exclusive use of the tenant in that residential property, and the old item must no longer be available for their use.
  3. The expenditure must be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the business and must be capital expenditure for which a deduction would not otherwise be forthcoming.
  4. Capital allowances must not have been claimed in respect of the cost of the new domestic item.

Amount of the deduction

If the new item is broadly a like-for-like replacement of the old item, the landlord can deduct the cost of the new item. However, where the new item is superior to the old item, the deduction is capped at the cost of an equivalent replacement. Any incidental costs are also allowed, such as the cost of installation or delivery, or the cost of disposing of the old item. However, if the landlord sells the old item, the deduction must be reduced by the sale proceeds received. Where the landlord part exchanges the old item for the new one, the deduction is the contribution made by the landlord (i.e. the cost of the new item less the part exchange allowance given for the old item).

Example

Layla lets out a flat on a long-term residential let. She replaces the existing washing machine in the flat with a washer-dryer costing £350. She sells the old washing machine for £30. She also spends £100 on having the new washing-dryer delivered and installed. The cost of an equivalent washing machine is £220.

Layla is able to claim a deduction of £290. This is the cost of the new item capped at the cost of an equivalent washing machine (£220), plus the cost of delivery and installation (£100), less the proceeds from the sale of the old machine (£30).

Partner note: ITTOIA 2005, s. 311A; CTA 2009, s. 250A.

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