To qualify as a FHL (Furnished Holiday Let) your property must be:
– in the UK or in the European Economic Area (EEA) – the EEA includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
– furnished – there must be sufficient furniture provided for normal occupation and your visitors must be entitled to use the furniture
The property must be commercially let (you must intend to make a profit). If you let the property out of season to cover costs but didn’t make a profit, the letting will still be treated as commercial.
Accommodation can only qualify as a FHL if it passes all 3 occupancy conditions.
The pattern of occupation condition
If the total of all lettings that exceed 31 continuous days is more than 155 days during the year, this condition isn’t met so your property won’t be a FHL for that year.
The availability condition
Your property must be available for letting as furnished holiday accommodation letting for at least 210 days in the year.
The letting condition
You must let the property commercially as furnished holiday accommodation to the public for at least 105 days in the year.
What if you fail these tests?
- You will be restricted on how you can use losses arising in the business
- CGT and IHT business property reliefs will be lost
- HMRC are more likely to challenge expenses such as motor, travel, and subsistence
Loss of FHL – Capital Allowances
Capital Allowances can not be claimed on plant, machinery, fixtures, integral features, instead you will only be able to claim replacement cost
Period of grace election
You may genuinely intend to meet the letting condition, but were unable to. If this happens, you may be able to make a period of grace election that allows the property to qualify as a FHL as long as the pattern of occupation and availability conditions were met.
To make an election, you must be able to show that you had a genuine intention to let the property in the year. For example, where you’ve marketed a property to the same or a greater level than in successful years, or where the lettings are cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, including extreme adverse weather.
You can make an election where the property met the letting condition in the year before the first year you wish to make a period of grace election (either on its own or because of an averaging election). If your property again doesn’t meet the letting condition in the following year, you can make a second period of grace election (as long as you made an election in the previous year).
If your property doesn’t reach the threshold by the fourth year, after 2 consecutive period of grace elections, it will no longer qualify as a furnished holiday letting.