For FHL rules to apply on a UK/EEA property, the property must be available 140 days and actually let 70 days.

Assume someone is going away for one week tomorrow, 1 August. Their stay is 1 - 8 August. For the FHL criteria, would you regard that week as 7 days or 8 days? Obviously, if we're looking at nights, it's 7, but the legislation refers to days.

I've never had to ask this before, but am reviewing a potential FHL claim and it looks like it may be under the 70 days if we count each week's stay as 7 days (averaging may not help either).

Logically, my gut feeling is to say it should be 7 days, because:

a) 140 days is effectively 20 weeks

b) 70 days is 10 weeks

c) Presumably, in the above example, someone else may well be coming in for the next week 8 - 15 August, so you would end up double counting the Saturday of departure and arrival, if you took a week's let as 8 days.

I think I'm getting myself more and more confused here and it is Friday afternoon after all and so, would appreciate a second opinion.

## Replies

## Please login or register to join the discussion.

It's a good question

The Taxes Acts are a bit woolly, and there is no definition of day anywhere (I can see no case law, but there might be something tucked away somewhere on something completely unrelated) so it takes it's normal (and woolly) dictionary meaning.

If someone stays 7 nights, the property has been occupied for 8 different days, but presumably less than 168 hours (arrive in the evening and leave in the morning). I can see the argument.

Get a big dictionary, weigh up the risk with the tax take, inform the client and see if they want to give it a punt.

Why should there be double-counting?

The definition refers to days and not weeks. So if a property is let Saturday to Saturday, the fact that there are two different people occupying the property on changeover days is a red herring. As far as I know, there is no requirement that the property must be let midnight to midnight for that day to qualify. Providing it is let on a particular day, that day should count. So a Saturday to Saturday 'week' is 8 days.

But in your example above, you do not count 2 weeks of 8 days each - the property is let 1st to 15th, therefore 15 days.

Thanks for the answers so far

Thanks, both.

Anonymous, yes, I think I was going off on a tangent and getting hopelessly confused.

But as my client doesn't let the property for normal weeks, they're usually a few days at a time with a few days in between.

I think it may be reasonable to count a Saturday to Saturday as 8 days as you suggest.

I'm not so sure

I think a let from Saturday to Saturday is more likely to be 7 days rather than 8. One of my clients lets a cottage which is typically let on a weekly basis almost continuously. So one visitor leaves on one day and the next comes in later that day. If I used 8 days a week and the cottage was let throughout the year I would land up with 416 days.

Not so sure?

You've made the same mistake and tried to use weeks in your calculation. The rules are specified in days, not weeks. You simply have to calculate the number of days that the property is let. So, if it is let Saturday to Saturday it is let for 8 days. And that is exactly why I went on to explain what would happen if it were let for a full fortnight Saturday to Saturday - of course you wouldn't double-count the middle Saturday (which is what you would do if using 2 8-day weeks) but the property would be let for 15 days. Work it out - if the property is let 1 Jan to 31 Dec, how many days? 365 of course. If let 1 Jan to 1 Jan then by definition 366 days (ignoring the obvious comments about leap years).

I can't see why the simple maths are proving so difficult.

Apologies if I sound niaive here!

Is it out of the question to count half days? Given, say, a (nominally) midday changeover on a Saturday, the incoming tenant would occupy the let for a half-day plus six intervening days and a final half-day making seven days in total, at least in my humble reckoning.

Generally, the tenant would have to sign up in the T&Cs to accept the fact that they have to be out of the premises by, say, 10am and the incomer not allowed in until, say, 2pm on changeover day to allow for cleaning etc.

Someone please correct me if this is completely wrong; or am I about to hear the sound of Stephen Fry's QI klaxon!

Why

do people feel the need to link the letting to particular individuals? The legislation simply requires that the property be let on any given day for that day to count towards the total. It doesn't matter one bit how many people occupy the property, on changeover day or any other day - if the property is let for that day it counts towards the total - end of story.

AA-Ltd

I think it all hinges on the definition of a day. Is it 24 hours (in which case Saturday to Saturday would less than 168 hours so only 6 full days)? Or any part of the day (in which case Saturday to Saturday would be 8 days)?

If the legislation said nights it'd be easy.

## Please login or register to join the discussion.