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"Ignore campaigns against tax break changes" urges FT columnist

A columnist on FT Adviser - an online service for financial advisers and clients - says buy to let investors have "a cheek" arguing against proposed tax changes.  

Tony Hazell, who also contributes to the Daily Mail, says people should ignore the welter of campaigns set up to oppose proposed wear and tear, and mortgage interest relief tax changes proposed by Chancellor George Osborne. 

"If I borrowed money to invest in an Isa or pension, then I would not make a profit from the income either once I had paid the interest on the loan. Why should landlords be immune from the rules governing businesses and investments – that is, that you are not guaranteed to make a profits" he asks in FT Adviser.


He says buy to let investors have, contrary to some suggestions, enjoyed "lavish tax perks" and are operating in a sector which is not under pressure. 

He says almost 20 per cent of home loans in July were to landlords with buy to let lending growing by 33 per cent in the past year to stand at £1.6 billion. "Such has been the rush to invest that the Bank [of England] has warned it could amplify a boom/bust cycle" he says.

With other data showing that today there are 1,100 buy to let mortgage products – the highest number since 2008 - and the cost of five-year loans to landlords has fallen to 4.08 per cent, the BTL investor could be seen to be considerably better off than the first time buyer, Hazell suggests.

"There would be nothing wrong with this if they were on a level playing field, but this has not been the case. The chancellor’s tax changes will remove some of the tilt, and no heed should be paid to any campaign to undermine them" he urges.

  • Simon Shinerock

    The reason Tony Hazell wants to see Buy to let penalised is that he represents the interests of financial advisors who make a living selling collective investments, a sector that has lost out to BTL. I'm sure he knows very well that a pension can borrow money and the interest is an expense, the same goes for other collective investments. So as an investor, if you put money into a fund that borrows money you don't need to in order to gain the additional buying power with its risks and rewards. As I say, I'm sure Mr Hazell already knows this but people don't always come up front with their agendas

  • Adam Hosker

    "If I borrowed money to invest in an Isa or pension" then you sit back as its an investment, buy to let is a business and borrowed funds should be treated like any other business.

  • Hasmita Reardon

    with stocks and shares you haven't to deal with tenants who trash your property at a cost of thousands of pounds, write off rent arrears, repair boilers, have decent home standards, get phone all hours, follow heavy legislation, deal with homeless people or those who have suffered with domestic abuse, single mums, tenants on low income, collect rent to pay for all of this, be a social worker, counsellor, employ staff and work all hours, pay CTG, lose the VAT, this is a business and landlords are providing a service!
    actually stocks and shares is appealing than property even with only 20% tax relief!

  • icon

    It seems to me that Hazell does not know what he is talking about. If he did he would have never compared Pensions or ISA with BTL. Pension contributions are subject to full higher rate tax relief, returns from which you only expect to get upon retirement. ISA on the other hand is a form of savings and one would perhaps never (or cannot) borrow to invest in ISA. BTL on the other hand is indeed a business where you put your neck on the line. Return is not guaranteed and often results in considerable loss due to repairs or void period. Perhaps George would prefer for all BTL owners to stop trading, kick out the tenants and let the council pick up the issue. We can then simply trade in and out of properties and accept that no interest relief will be received.

    As an alternative, Would Hazell be happy if young George would simply say rental income will not be taxed or taxed at basic rate band only? If so, we BTL army would be happy to accept restricted mortgage interest relief.


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