In response to your questions
Could we not say that these capital items such as the sofa bed, sink, cooker hood, hob, tap, shower door, dishwasher and fridge were purchased on a renewals basis as the property was previously let out but it is now being completely refurbished with like for like items in order to be let out again?
I have said yes to the sofa bed mattress fridge and oven and dishwasher as the renewals basis
The sink no as no tenants in situ and a fixture and fitting so no
Cooker hood, tap hob shower door not allowable as these are just repairs/replacements and no tenats in situ
He also received some rental income during the tax year before it was left vacant and so does that change anything?
No makes no difference its all about whether there was a tenant in when these repairs took place for them to be allowable unless they fall under the renewals basis such as furniture and movable items
Are you saying that these capital items can be offset against the disposal proceeds in order to reduce the capital gains liability once the property is sold as he can offset these capital expenses against some rental income he had received during the year?
No I am not - I am saying that which falls under the renewals basis can be claimed when a replacement is made but NOT the initial purchase (which you are currently asking after) and then will be offset against rent, but you have to have a tenant in situ at the time
And general repairs maintenance and other replacements are only allowable when you have a tenant in situ
You have no capital improvements UNLESS you completely re haul a room such as bathroom and kitchen or roof or central heating or double glazing - these are capital improvements