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Hunt’s lack of support for rental sector still subject of criticism

Last week’s Autumn Statement - which fell short of expectations in terms of help for the private rental sector - is still attracting widespread criticism.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt missed ‘a golden opportunity’ according to Daniel Evans, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.

The Chancellor increased the National Living Wage from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour and raised the Local Housing Allowance to the 30th percentile of market rents from next year. He said this would help some 1.6m households currently renting in both the private and social housing sectors. It's the equivalent of some £800 per year per household receiving LHA.


While those measures - and the National Insurance contribution cuts - may put more money in people’s pockets, they fell short of providing the support necessary to help a sector in crisis.

“Unincorporated landlords still cannot deduct their mortgage costs from rental income – which is patently unfair to them as business people” says Evans.

“This would have been the one tax measure that would stop landlords leaving the sector and creating the drastic shortages of supply that we are witnessing today. We were looking for a solution but what we received was slim pickings.

“Rents are still rising and are forecast to continue next year. While buy to let mortgage rates remain high, many landlords have no alternative but to increase rents accordingly and their tenants are feeling the squeeze.”

The Chancellor also announced a consultation on a new permitted development right allowing property owners permission to convert houses into two flats.

Evans continues: “But how long is that going to take? It smacks of tinkering around the edges of the problem when there was a golden opportunity to introduce positive tax reform to get to grips with the issue now.

“There were some other measures including extra cash to make the planning process more efficient which might accelerate the delivery of new housing but it might take years before the PRS sees any substantial benefit.

“There were no changes to capital gains tax or inheritance tax – both of which had been widely rumoured. But what we got were crumbs of comfort”

  • Barry X

    "Last week’s Autumn Statement - which fell short of expectations in terms of help for the private rental sector..."

    Hahaha ha.......

    .....hardly a surprise from a government that year after year has consistently and increasingly shown a complete disinterest in even bothering to find out how our industrusty works.... scorns, vilifies and completely ignores the people actually running it.... and instead prefers to cosy up to, consult, take direction from and make policy decisions based on organisations and people who are in effect enemies of the sectors with completly different agendas, persoectives and objectives - such as the hard-left political lobbying organisation I don't even need to name (too obvious) that was once (long-long ago) an honest charity for homeless people... and other equally warped, anti-business, uninformed self-interest groups such Generation Rent etc..

    ....so I'll repeat: it's hardly surprising our dysfunctional, utterly incompetant government endlessly dithers, repeatedly screws-up, and of course never even notices - let alown attempts to reverse - any of the huge damage its already done (and wirh more on its way) with its various ill-conceived measures....

    ....such as Section 24 of the Finance Act 2015 as mentioned in this article, ie the absurdly unfair, counter-productive and illogical phasing out of allowing loan/mortgage interest as a normal business expense just as it always was and has been and still is in every other type of business....

    .....except all of a sudden a few years ago NOT ours anymore (but until interest rates rose more recently its truly detremental & damaging impact was less obvious).....

    ....introduced for no good or justifiable reason other than perhaps to vitue signal to - and gain approval from (but probably still not actually get votes from) - the uninformed masses by attacking "greedy" or maybe "rouge" landlords (which obviously absoluetly all of us are).....

    .....or maybe because they actually really do want to drive us out of business in an attempt to clear the way for (instead of just augmenting with and expanding with more choice for tenants) a new kinds of rental market dominated by, for example, "build to rent" firms or something.... and Section 24 was just one of their planned death-by-thousand cuts to do it????

    (except I don't think they are capable of long term thinking or planning so each new blunder of theirs, and lack of insight, is probably just another knee-jerk, ideologically fixated, random blunder).

    ....who knows....

    One thing is for sure - there is no sense, logic or balance in any of it and our sector is under attack and sinking further with no sign of turn-arround or rescue.

  • icon

    I'm not surprised..I think he owns property himself like others in Parliament..They make me sick.


    Everything involved in renting makes SBR sick. Is that why she gets PIP.


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