ARLA comments on the impact of the Budget

Commenting on the impact of today’s Budget announcements on the rental sector, David Cox, managing director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), said: “This is now the third Budget which directly attacks landlords. The sector has been punitively taxed, with stamp duty on buy-to-let properties, mortgage interest relief and now capital gains tax changes. It’s an outright assault on the sector!

“Every other sector has been offered a tax break – yet there is nothing here to help the private rented sector, including landlords – and most importantly tenants – who will see rent costs rise to subsidise the taxes that landlords pay on property. The government talks about wanting to help the younger generation get onto the property ladder, but with the changes announced today the supply of available property is bound to decrease, and as a result rents will rise.

“In November, when Mr Osborne announced an increase in stamp duty tax on buy-to-let (BTL) properties, we described this as a catastrophic move. Today’s news that larger investors will also have to pay the tax is even worse. Professional landlords – those who typically own more than 15 properties – play a vital role in providing rental stock to the market, and providing the army of renters we have in this country with housing. Our members forecast that the supply of BTL properties will dwindle when the new tax comes in to effect, and this news means that supply will fall even faster and harder. We’re already in a position where demand out-strips supply and as supply falls, rent costs rise, meaning the goal of home-ownership falls even further out of reach for most of the country’s renters.”

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