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Sign up to scrap tax changes hurting landlords - agents told

A letting agents’ trade body is urging the industry to sign a parliamentary petition calling for the Section 24 changes for buy-to-let landlord taxation to be scrapped.

Launched by Simon Foster, a Midlands-based landlord, the petition calls on the government to enable landlords to offset all the running costs against their tax, as they were able to do up until 2015.

Now Tim Clark, chairman of the UK Association of Letting Agents, says: “This is merely a reversal to a situation, before 2015, where landlords could offset all the costs of running their business, including mortgage interest. This is perfectly acceptable in any other business. It seems unreasonable to treat landlords differently”.


A recent study conducted by UKALA among letting agents members revealed that, when asked about the availability of rental stock, 89 per cent of agent respondents saw their landlords reducing portfolios in 2023. 

Not a single agent saw their landlords increasing their portfolios and only 11 per cent forecast no change occurring.

Clark continues: “The increasing burden on landlords, which has been happening for quite some time, is now starting to have a real impact on the availability of rental stock in the private sector. Our survey results show this quite starkly. A reversal of the section 24 situation could help enormously to encourage landlords not to sell out”

Section 24 removes a landlord's right to deduct finance costs, including mortgage interest and arrangement fees, from their rental income before calculating their tax liability. This means landlords have to pay tax on the gross income they earn from a rental property.

So far the petition has fewer than 37,000 signatures. If it reaches 100,000 signatures by its closing date of May 10 it would be likely - although not guaranteed - that there would be a Parliamentary debate on the subject.

You can sign the petition yourself here.


The official government response to the petition says: “The Government will continue to set mortgage interest relief against rental income at the basic rate of tax. The Government has a responsibility to make sure the income tax system is fair.

“The Government recognises that the private rented sector plays an important role in the UK housing market and economy. However, the Government also has a responsibility to make sure that the income tax system is fair. Under the old system, residential landlords got relief on their finance costs (including mortgage interest payments) at their marginal rate of income tax, which meant that higher rate taxpayers got a more generous tax relief than those on lower incomes.

“To address this, and make sure that all residential landlords are treated the same by the income tax system, the Government phased in a set of reforms to restrict finance cost relief to the equivalent of the basic rate of income tax. The reforms mean that all residential landlords will now receive the same amount of relief. It also reduces the disparity in income tax treatment between homeowners and landlords.

“To minimise the impact on landlords who are affected, the Government chose to act in a proportionate and gradual way. It announced this change almost two years before its implementation. The restriction, introduced in April 2017, was phased in over four years to give landlords time to adjust to the changes.

“To be clear, these reforms do not mean that tax relief on mortgage interest has been abolished. Landlords are still able to claim an income tax reduction equivalent to basic rate tax relief on the finance costs of their rental property. Residential landlords also continue to be able to claim relief at their marginal rate of income tax on the day-to-day costs incurred in letting out a property, such as letting agent fees and replacing furniture.

“The Government understands that people, including those who rent property, are worried about the cost of living challenges ahead. That’s why decisive action has been taken to support households across the UK, whilst remaining fiscally responsible.”

  • Judith Stokes

    Unfortunately the sign here button does not work!


    Same here

  • Noel Wood

    Google 'government petitions S24 tax' and you'll find it. 36 000 signatures to date.


    The point of Sign here" is to avoid having to Google!


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