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Zoopla chief backs campaign against buy to let tax changes

The chief executive of Zoopla has thrown his weight behind opposition to the government’s proposed restrictions on buy to let tax breaks.

Alex Chesterman, in a question and answer session with readers of Letting Agent Today and Estate Agent Today, says the proposals announced by Chancellor George Osborne in July’s budget are “troubling.”

Osborne’s proposal is that mortgage interest tax relief for buy-to-let homebuyers should be restricted to the basic rate of income tax, currently 20 per cent, even if they themselves pay the higher 40 or 45 per cent tax rates.

Osborne says the relief, which will address "unfairnesses in property taxation", will be phased out from 2017. 

However, Alex Chesterman is concerned. “The recent changes to tax breaks available to private landlords are not well thought out in my view and could have a negative effect on both the number of properties available in the private rented sector .... and on the rents that need to be charged to achieve the desired return on investment” he says.

Chesterman has also ruled out allowing private landlords to directly advertise their homes to let on Zoopla and PrimeLocation.

You can see the questions submitted by LAT and EAT readers, plus Chesterman’s replies, here.

  • Brit Sixteen Sixty Four

    Sorry it is about time buy to let landlords pay their fair share of tax. Their constant debt binge model is dangerous to the economy, if the tax means more sustainable landlords then this has to be a good thing. It will also mean cheaper properties for first time buyers.

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    Hmmm, you really don't seem to understand Brit. Landlords pay the same taxes as any other business. If they are sole traders they pay on profit, if they're limited companies they pay corporation tax and then tax on income they draw. There are NO 'generous tax breaks' as is repeatedly mentioned by the press. It is just the same tax regime for landlords as for anyone else. Osborne is changing that and it's the country's tenants that will suffer from it.

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