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Section 24: Agents call for mortgage tax relief to be reinstated

A new survey of lettings agents and landlords has put the reinstatement of Section 24 mortgage tax relief at the top of a list of wants.

PropTech platform Goodlord surveyed over 1,500 agents, landlords and renters to create a so-called manifesto - titled Renting Done Right - which makes a series of demands on the government.

A general one is to incentivise the lettings industry to encourage more investment, with 37 per cent of responding letting agents saying reinstating mortgage interest tax relief should be the government’s top priority: some 29 per cent of landlords agreed.


Before Section 24 was amended in 2017, landlords were able to deduct mortgage interest from their income tax - at that time it was also possible to offset mortgage application fees and some other loans. Now tax is payable on all rental income upfront, even if - combined with an income from a traditional job - it moves the landlord into a higher tax bracket. Instead, landlords now have only a basic rate reduction from their income tax liability for their finance costs of 20 per cent.

Overall in the Goodlord survey, some 77 per cent of landlords want financial incentives to boost investment. 

Agents’ responses advocated a range of different ‘wish list’ entries including 11 per cent seeking the end of the three per cent buy to let Stamp Duty surcharge, but only one per cent wanted an increase in the Capital Gains Tax allowance which is being sharply cut by the current government. 

Predictably, a strong demand from tenant respondents was for an end to, or cap on, the bidding process for rental properties in a hot market - 83 per cent of renters disagreed with agents and landlords allowing so-called over-bidding. Equally predictably, rent controls proved popular with tenants but not with property professionals submitting responses to the report. 

In response to the question: “Which proposals to incentivise landlords should be the Government’s top priority?” the need for consistency and simplicity from government scored strongly. 

Despite the challenges of the sector, some 65 per cent of agents reported feeling positive or at worst neutral.

William Reeve, Goodlord’s chief executive, says: “This manifesto is the result of months of work and in-depth discussions from across the letting industry. We hope this manifesto helps unlock conversations that help make renting better. The time to act is now.”

You can read the manifesto here

Meanwhile a long-running petition calling for the reinstatement of Section 24 is still struggling to get beyond 40,000 signatures despite widespread publicity in the trade press and amongst some industry groups.

Section 24: Agents call for mortgage tax relief to be reinstated In the New Year the government made an official response to the petition, insisting its tax policy was fair and had to be seen not only in the context of landlords but as part of tax policy across the housing market.

If the petition 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 here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/627785

  • Kieran Ryan

    This Has to happen, the evidence is overwhelmimg.

  • icon

    .........people seem to lack understanding on corporatism.......... this is control and asset stripping of a country by big government and big business.......... the little people will live in poverty unable to grow any wealth..............


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