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WHAT NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT MAKE? REPEAL TAX MEASURES AGAINST BUY-TO-LET, SAY LANDLORDS

The number one New Year’s wish from landlords is for the Government to keep buy-to-let tax relief on mortgage interest payments, according to a new Landlord Voice poll conducted by Simple Landlords Insurance.

The survey revealed the planned tax increases are the top concern for landlords in 2017, voted for by 47% of respondents. Landlord’s second biggest wish for the New Year would be for an end to higher stamp duty charges, while in third place was a reduction in capital gains tax.

Tax relief on mortgage interest will be phased out starting April 2017, and it will continue to fall over the next three years. By 2020 landlords will be taxed on their income and for some, this could push them into a higher rate tax bracket.

However a separate poll of landlords conducted by the Council of Mortgage Lenders found that half owned their properties outright and would therefore not be affected by the changes as their properties are mortgage free.

Stamp duty charges and capital gains tax

The second most wished for change, to reduce stamp duty charges, further revealed buy-to-let owners’ frustration with what estate agents Haart have dubbed a “war on landlords”. Since April 2016, property investors have faced a 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge.

In third place, landlords wished that the government would reduce capital gains tax. Although the basic rate of capital gains tax dropped 8 points to 10 per cent in 2016, landlords were left out and pay 18% on residential property if they’re in the basic income tax band, or 28% in the higher band.

Hope on the horizon

Despite the pressure, many landlords are still optimistic about the future, and 36% of respondents rated their confidence level in the year ahead at 8 out of 10 or higher.

On top of that, 88% plan to remain as landlords for the next year and a third plan to increase their portfolios.

Landlords under pressure

Jenny Mayes from Simple Landlords Insurance says: “We strongly urge Chancellor Philip Hammond to listen to landlords’ concerns. Landlords should be supported and recognised for their contributions in providing affordable housing, rather than burdened with unfair tax measures that will see them having to take considerable cuts to their income and being forced to pass some of this to their tenants.”