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Will next week’s budget give landlords a break?

Monday 20 November 2017

Although many in the buy-to-let sector will supply a swift, and negative, response, it’s worth remembering that the Government faces increasing pressure to tackle the mounting crisis in housing.

It has pledged to build 1 million homes by 2020 and in October committed a further £10bn to its Help To Buy scheme, which aims to assist first-time buyers with deposits.

While affordable housing is certainly part of the solution, it is becoming increasingly clear that the buy-to-let sector must, of necessity, play a central role in meeting demand.

A key issue that tenants and landlords alike could benefit from is longer tenancy agreements, with the possibility of offering tax incentives to landlords who offer these agreements.

At the Conservative Party Conference, Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “All landlords should be offering tenancies of at least 12 months to those who want them.

“That is why, at the Autumn Budget, we will bring forward new incentives for landlords who are doing the right thing.”

Sensible policies to reverse or mitigate legislation which has hit buy-to-let in recent years would be welcomed, but at the moment there are 15 consultations currently underway within the private rented sector.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond faces pressure to make positive decisions that will provide the homes the country so desperately needs.

David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association, said more must be done to boost the supply of homes – and consultation exercises are not enough.

He said: “The Minister is right that we need a giant leap to tackle the housing crisis we now face. This is particularly the case for tenants and prospective tenants who increasingly need a vibrant and growing private rental market for a place to live.

“The Government currently has at least 15 consultations currently ongoing affecting the private rented sector, none of which will boost the supply of such of homes. Whilst it is right to properly consult on proposals, no tenant can live in a consultation.

“We need immediate action to meet growing demand for private rented housing in next week’s budget by bringing small plots of unused land into use and creating a pro-growth tax system that supports good landlords to develop the new homes we need.”

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