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.