Small landlords call on government to support buy-to-let
Small-scale landlords are calling on the government for support by axing its controversial cuts to mortgage interest relief.
The government has been urged to follow the lead of Ireland by scrapping the changes, in a bid by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), ahead of the 2017 budget on November 22.
It says action should be taken on mortgage lenders who prevent landlords from offering the ‘family-friendly’ longer tenancies that some renters want, and calls for a scheme allowing tenants with good payment histories to have them recognised by credit reference agencies.
The association has also made a number of proposals, including the introduction of tax incentives for those landlords willing to sell properties to sitting tenants, those offering longer tenancies and those investing in energy efficiency improvements.
The RLA believes that where a landlord is prepared to sell a property to a sitting tenant the 20 per cent rate of Capital Gains Tax should be applied rather than the current 28 per cent.
DJS Research findings for the RLA report that 77 per cent of private landlords would consider selling their property to tenants if the tax liability was waived.
The association would also like to see unused and abandoned plots of public sector land redeveloped as new sites for private rented homes, as demand for them will continue, amid predictions that a quarter of all homes will be privately rented by 2021.
RLA Chairman Alan Ward said: “RLA research shows many landlords have stopped investing in more properties as a result of recent tax changes, instead moving into short term holiday lets or ceasing to rent to groups deemed ‘high risk’ such as the young and those on benefits.
“These decisions have far-reaching consequences for a country in the grip of a housing crisis and we will do everything in our power to convince the government that this unfair tax must be reversed.”