In Brief

Will buy-to-let crackdown actually harm renters?

Many landlords plan to sell up when tough new legislation takes effect, but who gains?

The number of landlords planning to sell up has surged to a ten-year high, as tax changes cracking down on buy-to-let take effect.

Research conducted for the National Landlords Association (NLA) shows that 20% of members plan to reduce the number of properties in their portfolio in the next year – the highest level of intended property sales since the financial crisis a decade ago.

“It follows a series of policies to curb buy-to-let activity in the private rental sector,” says The Independent. These include the withdrawal of mortgage interest relief for higher and additional rate tax payers, a 3% surcharge on purchases of an additional property, and the introduction of a ban on upfront letting fees for tenants.

Under further changes announced by the Chancellor in last year’s budget, landlords will also have to foot the bill for tenancy agreements, referencing and credit checks.

Tough new legislation combined with “a weakening housing market and increased difficulty in obtaining mortgages have all made buy-to-let a less attractive investment”, says The Daily Telegraph.

The chief executive of the NLA, Richard Lambert, said that with “more and more people relying on this sector for a home, it is vital that landlords not only provide a high standard of accommodation, but are incentivised to do so by the prospects of a reasonable return on investment”.

He said current government policies, while politically popular, “are undermining the viability of many landlords’ businesses and removing the incentives to invest in residential property for business purposes”.

The changes could actually harm renters says Property118, “with tenants ending up paying high rents and having fewer rental properties to choose from”.

Last August, a survey by Britain’s biggest landlord organisation, the Residential Landlord Association, found almost half of private sector landlords plan to increase rents over the next year.

Recommended

Is now a good time to fix your energy bills?
Woman reads utility bill
In Depth

Is now a good time to fix your energy bills?

Quiz of The Week: 18 - 24 June
Ed Davey and Richard Foord
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 18 - 24 June

Immunotherapy, unions and a house revival
Medical scan
Podcasts

Immunotherapy, unions and a house revival

The road to a second Scottish independence referendum
Nicola Sturgeon
The latest on . . .

The road to a second Scottish independence referendum

Popular articles

Who will win in Wakefield and Tiverton?
Wakefield town centre
Today’s big question

Who will win in Wakefield and Tiverton?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 22 June 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 22 June 2022

Mick Lynch: the veteran trade unionist leading rail walkouts
Mick Lynch
Profile

Mick Lynch: the veteran trade unionist leading rail walkouts

The Week Footer Banner