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Letting expenses

Capital v Repair

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I have a client who has undertaken a large repair process on an old property that has been owned and let for some time.  As part of this a new third floor is being built at the top of the property and it is necessary to ascertain which work constituted repair of the existing premises and which is improvement/capital relating to the new storey.  I have categorised the majority of the expenses and have disallowed as repair expense any that relate to the new floor or any that extend to rebuilding work.

I am struggling with two areas though.  As the front and back wall had separated from the side walls of the existing building "L" elbows were put in place to rejoin and stabilise these.  I am relatively happy that as long as the walls weren't taken down and rebuilt as part of this and that the work wasn't primarily to provide a stronger base for the new floor to be built above that these are a repair.  However, the instability of the walls over a number of years led to the floor joists becoming unsafe as they were previously supported by the walls.  In order to repair this it was necessary to insert RSJs to support the new joists and a new floor made to rest on the RSJs rather than the walls which had previously supported it. 

I know that HMRC regard steel joists to replace wooden joists as an allowable revenue expense but am unsure if this would fit the picture outlined above in relation to the floor where new RSJs are put in which were not previously present?

Secondly the previous wooden window lintels had rotted through and were replaced with concrete lintels - it is my understanding that building regs no longer allow for wooden lintels on exterior walls but I am not 100% certain.  If that is indeed the case would the concrete lintel be fully allowed in the same way that UPVC windows are now accepted as a repair when replacing old wooden windows?

If anyone has come across anything similar then any advice would be greatly appreciated.  My instincts are no to the RSJs but yes to the lintel unless I can find a strong case to say otherwise.

Many thanks

Replies (3)

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By lionofludesch
08th Aug 2019 15:42

Neither of these sound like capital to me.

But I'm no construction expert.

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By Wilson Philips
08th Aug 2019 16:08

"it is my understanding that building regs no longer allow for wooden lintels on exterior walls"

Presumably as a consequence of issues at a certain hotel in South Devon.

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Hallerud at Easter
08th Aug 2019 19:24

I would be slightly more positive on the RSJs if the floor replaced above them is in the same place/position as the previous floor- its sounds akin to the replacing a roof argument being repairs provided the new roof is in same position/height etc as the old roof.

However if the new floor is in different position you may have a more difficult argument. (Or no argument)

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