Landlords face 'unfriendly' climate under new government
The BTL sector could face tougher times under the new government, with experts warning that vital policy change is unlikely to be implemented amid continuing uncertainty.
Michael Dean, principal at bridging and development finance provider Avamore Capital, warned last week's surprise General Election result would create an 'unfriendly' climate for landlords.
He said: “No government is going to do buy-to-let investors any favours in the foreseeable future.
“The government has done a good job in levelling the playing field for first-time buyers. That is going to be the overall rhetoric. The direction of travel for both parties - whatever happens - will be fairly unfriendly towards landlords.”
And changes to current policies on issues such as stamp duty were unlikely, thanks to the fragile nature of the current government, he said.
“The real question is: how much legislation is going to be put forward?" he asked. "Anything contentious needs to be chosen very carefully and might not be put forward in parliament."
Alan Ward, director of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), said the previous Conservative government had been “extremely short-sighted” towards private landlords and that he suspected the current one would be the same, “if not worse”.
Mr Ward said: “The government doesn’t like a fragmented market and it is very hard for them to control our sector.
“We need a tax system that encourages landlords wanting to invest in new homes for tenants and a planning system that frees up small plots."
Pippa Watmough, director at Piggyback Property, a buy-to-let crowdfunding company launched earlier this year, said: “It seems unlikely that a hung parliament is going to be much kinder to BTL landlords.
“The housing white paper had a significant focus on build-to-rent and multifamily and the institutional private rented sector, and it seems likely that this is going to expand over the coming years.”
Last year, under former chancellor George Osborne, the Conservative Party introduced new rules on tax relief for private landlords, including a 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on second homes and BTL properties.