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Buy to let and stamp duty changes - put your views to David Cameron

Letting Agent Today readers are being given the rare opportunity to have their concerns about proposed stamp duty increases and recent buy to let tax changes put directly to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Andrew Goldthorpe - chief executive of PropertyMutual.co.uk and owner and managing director of PropertyPortal.com - lives in Witney, where David Cameron is the local MP and holds weekly surgeries for constituents to discuss issues.

“The proposals are fundamental in challenging the buy to let model and they risk reducing the private rental stock in particular. I’m also extremely concerned that the consultation period over the recent stamp duty surcharge is so short” says Goldthorpe.

The buy to let sector has been the target for a string of controversial measures proposed by the government in recent months. Many in the industry have spoken out about the detrimental effects on landlords and lettings agent in particular, but also on estate agents and even new-build developers reliant for some of their business on investor buyers.

The controversial measures include:

- an additional stamp duty surcharge of three per cent on all ‘additional properties’ (so chiefly buy to let properties and second homes) priced above £40,000;

- the restriction of mortgage relief for buy to let investors to only the basic rate of income tax, even for investors paying higher rates;

- a change in the Wear and Tear Allowance, permitting landlords to claim only for repairs involving receipts.

Many industry analysts have suggested that these measures combined suggest the government has become deeply unsympathetic to all elements of the buy to let sector, despite its provision of homes for a growing number of households choosing, or obliged, to rent rather than buy.

The most recent controversy is that the official consultation over the proposed stamp duty surcharge was launched on a Bank Holiday in the middle of the Christmas and New Year break, when publicity and industry attention was at its lowest.

The deadline for this consultation closes on February 1 - so Andrew Goldthorpe’s offer to put readers’ views directly to the Prime Minister is timely and urgent.

If you want your view put to David Cameron, please leave a comment beneath this story as soon as possible and we will collate these. They will then be put collectively to the Prime Minister, and we will report back on the discussion and official response in the near future.

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    I'd like to ask what Cameron things about the additional stamp duty surcharge of three per cent on all additional properties.

  • Billy the Fish

    What will the Govt do if and more likely when rents are increased, likely above future inflation and salary increases, to cover the deficit in income the new regulations will create for current Landlords with BTL mortgages?
    If this does occur how are first time buyers expected to save to buy a new home?
    Also, who did the Govt consult before going ahead with the new tax and SDLT changes?

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    Why are institutional investors not being penalised for being 'landlords'? Why is the government targeting small/individual businesses? One of the things the Conservative party is supposed to promote...

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    The majority of our clients are small investors with 1-3 properties without these small investors the Battersea and Wandsworth areas would be experiencing a massive shortage in rental stock, and why should larger organisations get exemption from this tax, when the smaller investor most likely has a smaller margin which will be further cut when tax relief on mortgages is taken away ! this all just sets the stage to further increase rents to recover the losses.

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    With the announcement of 130,000 new houses being built under Mr Cameron's hand the consultation period will be over before their is anything firmly in place for these houses. But I bet this piece of unfounded future legislation will be part of the PM's arguments to any critic of this new penalising stamp duty on those who can least afford it. I suggest that whoever talks to him at his clinic they are ready with a very good and constructive response and let him know in no uncertain terms should this be an answer to a future (perhaps) shortage of rented properties in the private sector. The government just can not build this many houses in the short term or even in the mid term as this government will be gone by then and who knows what will happen to all these lovely new homes promises. I think that Boris Johnson has a similar dream but a very limited uptake but I can't rember the nuts and bolts of that one so can anyone enlighten us?

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    Conservatives used to see strength of entrepreneurials/individuals/small business people.
    Now they are targeting them in favour of corporates,who will be foreign owned/non-taxpaying.
    The measures are obviously discriminatory,but individuals only get one vote every five years,then live under a dictatorship of politicians who have normally only been salaried/taken no risks.
    Moving the goal posts so obviously is unfair,and while they say landlords are profit-seeking ogres to be driven out,they have to deal with a range of tenants that include some who destroy properties that owners cherished.Will the Chinese end up owning all our houses,as well as everything else.
    e.g.The Government at a time of no inflation,tied us into a nuclear power plant deal with the Chinese giving us the liability for a 100% increase by 2015.
    It is easy to landlord bash,but tenants have choices in the private sector,why does the Government not build council houses again,instead of destroying a significant industry that caters for those who choose to rent.

  • jeremy clarke

    I think it's simple maths. Put landlords costs up whether at the outset through tax, during the tenancy by additional legislation or at the close with additional costs/taxes and the only option is to increase the cost to the tenants - a bit like fuel surcharges that airlines used to charge when oil prices rose.
    is this really what the government want? Where will it lead? Who knows, maybe landlords will not buy, maybe some will sell but my gut feeling is that rents will become less affordable meaning that local & central government will end up "propping up the market" with more housing allowance payments to bridge the gap between real rents and affordability. In a nutshell someone has shot themselves in the foot BIG TIME!

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    Completely and utterly agree - this has not been thought through. It will hit the rental market because landlords will either sell or pass on the burden to the tenant (they have no choice, one doesn't do it for fun); it will hit the inland revenue because there will be many who flee therefore no longer pay tax; it will hit the first time buyer market as it will become harder to save for a deposit due to hirer rent while doing so; it will hit pensioners because many private landlords and thus as they do not have private pensions. It is a nonsense to hit private landlords - the corporates will sweep up the buy to let properties from fleeing landlords and the inland revenue will gain less tax from income which previously paid more! Who on earth advised the govt this was ever a good policy?

     
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    I think its outrageous, FOR SURE I'LL NEVER VOTE FOR CONSERVATIVE EVER AGAIN!

  • Hasmita Reardon

    I paid stamp duty once already when I purchased the property, why than should I have to pay it again when moving over to a limited company? when I am helping the government house the homeless, mental health, vulnerable, benefits tenants, and trying to keep rent affordable, and now I have been asked to help with the Syrian refugees on LHA rate!! really???

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    This has not been thought through. It will hit the rental market because landlords will either sell or pass on the burden to the tenant (they have no choice, one doesn't do it for fun); it will hit the inland revenue because there will be many who flee therefore no longer pay tax; it will hit the first time buyer market as it will become harder to save for a deposit due to hirer rent while doing so; it will hit pensioners because many private landlords are often thus as they do not have private pensions. It is a nonsense to hit private landlords - the corporates will sweep up the buy to let properties from fleeing landlords and the inland revenue will gain less tax from income which previously paid more! Who on earth advised the govt this was ever a good policy?

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    if this 3% stamp duty is to help first time buyers why do those from other countries not have to pay it. What about regulated tenancies, bought as investments, occupied by the same family for decades, would never be bought by first time buyers, why 3% on these? There is no sense in the supposed motive.

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    Landlords are providing a service that the Governement isn't, putting a roof over people's heads. This will only increase rents and cause more homelessness. It will also mean many l;andlords will have to sell up, again deoriving the market of suitable rental accommodation. Also, the time frame is crazy. We started looking for a property and put in an offer before the statement, we still haven't exchanged and I have 4 weeks left. Even if it goes over by one day it will cost me an extra £7500. Madness, they have not thought this one through. All they have done is increased prices further and caused mayhem in the property market. The normal person who is just trying to better themselves and provide for their retirement and not rely on state benefits will be hit hardest, I thought the Tories supported this ethic, obviously not.

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    The answer is not to vote for this government next time.
    Im not a fan of Mr Corbyn either but I would have been amazed if he would have hit the smaller landlord and opened uo the market for the big guns to clean up. Before this attack on the BTY market I had some respect for Mr Osborne, no longer. He can kiss my vote goodbye.

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