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Letting agents fee delay due to covid?

What year should letting agents fees be accounted for on accruals basis, due to covid delays?

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My rental property became empty in January of this year. I employed the services of a letting agent to fully manage the property. It needed some repairs and redecoration and by March it was ready to let out. Viewings commenced early March, however the agent was then furloughed due to covid. The property was eventually let out mid May. All fees due to the letting agent were involved and paid in May.

I account on an accruals basis.

My questions are
1) do I put the tenant find fee into 19/20 accounts as the tenant find commenced in March?
2)I assume the epc, gas cert, inventory should all go into 20/21 given they were done in May? I'm not sure because there was a legal obligation from January (when the contract was signed)for this to be carried out by the letting agent?

Replies (8)

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
01st Oct 2020 12:14

Outlays paid by you/ the agent when they were incurred by you/ agent (e.g repairs etc), fee from agent for finding tenant/getting lease signed when that actually happened.

Does agent supply you a statement detailing everything by date?

Thanks (1)
Replying to DJKL:
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By missloulou
01st Oct 2020 14:01

Thanks for your kind reply.

I did get a statement in May but nothing on it was date specific. The statement is merely headed Landlords Statement May. I don’t believe the tenant was actually found any earlier than late April. However the search for a tenant and viewings commenced in March, but were then slightly delayed once covid hit.

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Replying to missloulou:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
01st Oct 2020 14:04

If the agent had not have found you a new tenant would you have been obliged to pay him a fee for finding a tenant?

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Replying to missloulou:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
01st Oct 2020 14:05

I should have said, where agent paid out costs to tradesmen etc on your behalf, he/she ought to supply you with copies of the invoices re said costs, these will have dates on them.

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Replying to DJKL:
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By missloulou
01st Oct 2020 14:18

Yes the letting agent did supply copies of invoices paid for the refurbishment, which were dated pre March, before viewings commenced. Therefore they have all been put in 19/20. It was more the letting agents tenant find fees that I have a dilemma with as I guess the agent did start trying to find the tenant in March, but didn’t actually do so until late April and the tenant moved in late May.

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By Homeworker
05th Oct 2020 10:08

No-one seems to have pointed out that residential lettings are now supposed to be dealt with on a cash basis, not accrual. I switched all of mine over from 2017/2018. The only difficulty I have is that letting agents often send out statements in April showing receipts and payments in March, which get missed but should be included in the earlier year.

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Replying to Homeworker:
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By missloulou
05th Oct 2020 10:21

Thanks for your reply homeworker.

However since 6 April 2017, you can still make an election to account on the accruals basis on your SA form.

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Replying to Homeworker:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
05th Oct 2020 10:32

I thought it was all letting income not just residential and that it depended upon turnover being less than £150k. We are still on the accruals basis for all our property letting business entities.

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