Landlord campaigners should know soon if tax challenge can go ahead

Taylor Scott International News

The legal campaign to overturn the proposed UK Government’s decision to phase out the tax relief that residential landlords can currently claim on their mortgages will know next month if its challenge can be taken further. There will be a hearing around the end of the month to determine whether or not there will be a judicial review of the move to reduce the tax relief from 2017 to 2020 until it meets the basic tax rate. Landlords and organisations have warned it could put off new landlords coming into the private rent sector and also hit existing landlords who will have little choice but to pass on the extra cost to their tenants in the form of higher rents. Landlord campaigners Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper said that they also have a meeting with the new housing minister Gavin Barwell on 09 September when the issue will be discussed. ‘We will obviously be raising our serious concerns about the impact, making him aware of our legal challenge and doing the best job we can to help him become a supporter of our cause within Government,’ they said. It is not the only tax change landlords have faced recently. Earlier this year a new 3% extra stamp duty was levied on the purchase of additional properties which included buy to let investments. The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) and the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have both warned that these tax changes threaten to increase costs, making it easier for irresponsible landlords to provide sub-standard housing to tenants and threaten housing supply for those who believe renting is the most suitable option for them. The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), along with the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) south of the border, have launched a joint campaign to convince the new Chancellor of the Exchequer to reverse or amend tax changes in his Autumn Statement expected later this the year. They pointed out that a recent YouGov survey for the Council of Mortgage Lenders suggested that 34% of landlords will reduce their investment in the private rented sector as a consequence of these tax changes. Alongside this, the Scottish Government has introduced a 3% levy on the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) for those buying additional properties, including properties to rent out. ‘We know from our regular branch meetings around Scotland that landlords are already seeing increased costs as a result of tax changes. As well as impacting on individual landlords, we are concerned this could make it harder to tackle the current housing crisis by making it more difficult to attract much needed investment,’ said John Blackwood, SAL chief executive. ‘With the uncertain investment environment that has been created by the Brexit vote, at least in the short term, the last thing anyone in the housing sector needs is tax rises which will only make things worse,’ he explained. ‘Furthermore,… Taylor Scott International

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