One of Britain’s most experienced lettings experts has condemned the government for “almost singlehandedly destroying the traditional lettings market.”
Lisa Simon - now the head of sales and rentals at Carter Jonas but until recently the company’s long-standing head of lettings - says today’s Spring Statement mini-Budget is an opportunity for Chancellor Phillip Hammond to breathe new life into the troubled sector.
“His short-sighted, ‘one size fits all’ lettings legislation, designed to penalise small-scale landlords, has proved devastating to the industry – with the greatest ramifications for tenants - and has served no other purpose than to propel forward institutionally funded Build To Rent schemes” says Simon.
“The introduction of stamp duty penalties applicable to the purchase of secondary residences or buy to let properties, exacerbated by the erosion of tax relief for small scale landlords, has forced many to sell up and vacate the market” she adds.
Simon says today is an opportunity for the government to reveal revisions to stamp duty, “particularly for the small scale landlords who have kept the lettings sector going for decades but who can no longer afford to remain in the sector.”
She says that while Build To Rent promises to increase stock levels of lettings properties, “the model often fails to build homes where people want to live.”
Simon concludes: “If the Chancellor will only champion Build To Rent going forward, he must motivate the planning system to allow homes to be built in the right locations. Reforms in this area are compulsory if the Chancellor is committed to shoring up the future of the lettings market – and provide a sufficient volume of homes for Britain’s future population.”