A client today was disappointed to hear that he couldn't claim a new carpet against tax after the old one had been ruined by the outgoing tenants. I had to tell him it was covered by the wear and tear allowance.
He then came up with an interesting question. Could he claim for laminated flooring instead? It's fixed to the floor so it counts as a fixture, and replaces the old floor covering (the carpet) so can it be claimed as maintenance, or would it have to be treated as an improvement?
I told him laminated flooring was hardly an improvement on carpets so I would be inclined to claim it.
Am I right though? After all, it is a new feature, whether an improvement or not. If you replace something that is not tax deductible with something that is, would the old tax status over-ride the fact that it performs the same function (i.e. covers up the bare floorboards)?
By the way, he's planning to sell the house soon without letting it out again but I told him he could continue claiming maintenance, cleaning and utility bills against rent from his other lettings as it is all one business and he hasn't changed its use by moving in. Pretty sure I'm right on that, but any dissenters?
Comments awaited with bated breath.