In the U.S., an income property investor is allowed to depreciate a residential income property over a period of 29.5 years. Does a similar concept exist in the UK? Can a UK citizen deduct the depreciation of a UK income property, and if so, what are the terms (time period, straight-line vs. accelerated, ratio of improvement value vs. land value, etc.)?
Residential property let to a single household cannot be depreciated (when letting to many households, items like lifts may be able to be depreciated), but repair costs can sometimes be offset against tax. For detailed information search http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/ and/or read How to Avoid Property Tax
(Property in the UK is after all mostly built to last a very long time unlike the USA)
No; in fact, there's an implicit assumption that property is likely to increase in value over time, based on:
- Property is used as an investment for, say, pensions.
- If you sell a property that has been let to tenants, you must pay capital gains tax on any gain above the current threshold.
As Ian mentions in his answer, repairs (as opposed to improvements) can be deducted.
There is also a wear & tear allowance for furnished properties, which permits a deduction to account for depreciation of furniture and the like; however, it looks like this is likely to be removed in the near future.