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New Chancellor is former property investor

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New Chancellor Philip Hammond, a former buy-to-let investor, has been urged to rethink the government’s approach to private rented housing.

Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, says stifling investment through higher stamp duty on BTL homes and a reduction in mortgage interest relief will only make it more difficult for many people to find suitable housing and will push up rents for those in rented accommodation.

His views are echoed by former National Association of Estate Agents president Simon Gerrard.

Gerrard says with fewer BTL investors acquiring property following the introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge for those acquiring second homes, there is concern that the availability of homes in the private sector could lead to a sharp rise in rents.

He says the only way to prevent that from happening is to suspend the extra 3% stamp duty for landlords with five or more properties in their portfolios.

quotation-mark_318-48610“The only way to keep medium-sized landlords in the market is by removing the tax disincentives attached to BTL investments.”

Meanwhile, Hammond was the subject of speculation on Twitter that he might scrap or at least soften some of the mortgage interest relief, stamp duty and wear and tear allowance changes introduced over the past two years by former Chancellor George Osborne.

quotation-mark_318-48610This follows media reports that in 2012 Hammond “avoided thousands of pounds in tax after transferring his share of a £600,000 BTL property to his wife”.

The Mirror reported that while such a transfer was not illegal, it may have led to the couple paying less tax overall.

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Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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