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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Trade body wants SDLT surcharge scrapped and CGT incentives for buy to let

A leading lettings sector trade body has repeated its call on government to offer a range of incentives to landlords and to help them create a rental sector better suited to a wider range of tenants.

Responding to the Resolution Foundation report - here - the Residential Landlords Association’s policy director David Smith says: “Ministers need to make pragmatic changes to their approach to private rented housing, with a series of policies that support, rather than attack, the majority of private landlords who are individuals to invest in the new homes to rent we need alongside all other tenures. 

“This includes greater support and encouragement for those prepared to offer longer tenancies but who are concerned about being locked into agreements where tenants might be failing to pay their rent, not looking after their property or committing anti-social behaviour.”

Recent research by the RLA has found that 69 per cent of landlords are being put off investing in further homes to rent as a result of the three per cent stamp duty surcharge on the purchase of homes to rent out.

The RLA is calling for a number of reforms to support those in rented housing, including:

- not applying the surcharge where landlords invest in property adding to the net overall supply of housing;

- using a combination of tax incentives and improvements to the process for regaining possession of a property where tenants are failing to look after it or not paying their rent to provide greater confidence to landlords to offer longer term tenancies. At present it can take up to 22 weeks for a landlord to regain possession of a property when faced with tenants causing disruption;

- action to stop mortgage providers from prohibiting landlords from offering longer tenancies. 44 per cent of landlords have told the RLA that they have mortgage conditions that limit the maximum length of tenancy that can be offered;

- establishing a new housing court to improve and speed up access to justice for tenants and landlords when things go wrong;

- providing relief from Capital Gains Tax where a landlord is prepare to sell a property to a sitting tenant to support first time home ownership.

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    A sensible approach and would certainly help increase the number of properties available to rent. Unfortunately 'Sensible' is not a word associated with government housing policy

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