A former president of the Association of Taxation Technicians has made a strong defence of buy to let investors who, she says, are facing little short of persecution as a result of recent tax changes.
Yvette Nunn, now owner partner and director of Berkeley Associates, says a series of government announcement over recent months have made it appear that Chancellor George Osborne “has it in” for BTL investors.
Writing in Accountancy Live she says the restriction on mortgage interest tax relief for landlords in particular means “seemingly innocent and straightforward property investment, for any genuine purpose - none of which were to avoid tax - has suddenly become more complicated” and will, as a consequence, actually reduce the stock of rental properties and thus increase rents for those living in the sector.
“The market needs landlords. It is not enough to quote how many homes are now owned by private landlords, as many of those landlords are only filling the gap created by the decline in social housing, occupying the spot once filled by the supply of council houses which are now owned by their tenants” she says.
She says the change to wear and tear allowance - obliging landlords to produce receipts to claim for their repairs - is less damaging because it was always “an oddity” that some wear and tear payment had been regarded as automatic, irrespective of whether repairs had been carried out.
Nunn concludes by saying that even those cash buyers - who will remain unaffected by the mortgage interest relief change - are unlikely to boost their buy to let portfolios to improve the supply of rental stock.