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Top agency asks landlords to contribute to Osborne legal challenge

The franchise letting agency chain Belvoir is urging its landlord clients to offer fiancial support to the national campaign to fight George Osborne’s proposed tax changes for buy to let investors. 

Letting Agent Today has already reported extensively on the legal challenge now being mounted, in an action led by Cherie Blair QC.

“The campaign for a judicial review of Clause 24 of the Finance Act 2015 was launched by two hard working Buy to Let landlords who are trying to prevent what is believed to be discrimination by the government against individuals who borrow money in their own names in order to fund their portfolios,” says Belvoir managing director, Dorian Gonsalves.

“The campaign is something that Belvoir fully supports. Over £50,000 has now been pledged by landlords, agents and other affected sectors of the market. Belvoir's franchise owners will also be writing to landlords and inviting them to pledge their support for this important legal challenge” says Gonsalves. 

“We will explain that Clause 24 will disallow the perfectly legitimate finance costs (including mortgage interest), of individuals who operate BTL properties in their own name. Institutions, corporations, wealthy cash buyers and overseas landlords will, however, be excluded, thus giving this sector of the market an unfair advantage.

He says that if Clause 24 goes ahead the impact on the UK housing market could potentially be devastating. 

“Rents will increase, many private landlords are likely to consider selling their properties, and there will be a reluctance to invest in the future. This will result in even more pressure on the PRS and if demand for properties falls builders will simply stop building, which is exactly what happened in 2008/2009. Unfortunately the Government has made no plans for rehousing those tenants who are likely to lose their homes as a result of a mass exodus from the market by landlords.”

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