Furnished holiday lettings
The furnished holiday let (FHL) rules allow holiday lettings of properties that meet certain conditions to be treated as a trade for tax purposes. Individuals, partnerships, trustees and companies who let furnished holiday accommodation situated within the UK or elsewhere in the EEA can benefit from having a FHL.
The furnished holiday letting scheme occupancy conditions must be met for an FHL to be qualifying in 2016-17. Anyone with an FHL should calculate whether they have already qualified as an FHL for the current tax year. If not, steps should be taken over the next couple of months to try and ensure that a property qualifies.
Landlords of furnished holiday lettings are not affected by the tax relief changes for buy-to-let landlords coming in to effect from this April.
In order to qualify as a furnished holiday lettings, the following criteria need to be met:
- The property must be let on a commercial basis with a view to the realisation of profits. Second homes or properties that are only let occasionally or to family and friends do not qualify.
- The property must be located in the UK, or in a country within the EEA.
- The property must be available for commercial letting at commercial rates for at least 30 weeks (210 days) per year.
- The property must be let for at least 15 weeks (105 days) per year and home owners should be able to demonstrate the income from these lettings.
- The property must not be used for more than 155 days for longer term occupation (i.e. a continuous period of more than 31 days).
- Where there are a number of furnished holiday lettings properties in a business, it is possible to average the days of lettings for the purposes of qualifying for the 15 weeks threshold.
- There is a special period of grace election which allows homeowners to treat a year as a qualifying year for the purposes of the furnished holiday let rules where they genuinely intended to meet the occupancy threshold but were unable to do so subject to a number of qualifying conditions.