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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Petition against buy to let tax changes passes 35,000 signatures

The online petition opposing the proposed tax changes for buy to let landlords has now reached 35,000 signatures – but is still some way off the target which may trigger a parliamentary debate on the issue.

The tax proposal, outlined by Chancellor George Osborne back in the July Budget, means mortgage interest tax relief for buy to let owners will be restricted to the basic rate of income tax, currently 20%, even if they themselves pay the higher 40 or 45% tax rates.

Osborne says the relief, which will address "unfairnesses in property taxation", will be phased out from 2017.

There had been a strong reaction from the industry against the measure; in addition to the petition there has been the establishment of a ‘SayNoToGeorge’ website outlining how the measure will hit not just landlords but also letting and estate agents, pensioners, tenants and suppliers.

However, the online petition needs 100,000 signatures by the end of January if it is to force the consideration of whether to hold a parliamentary debate.

The success of the petition received a blow in recent weeks when the National Landlords Association’s chief executive described it as "a waste of time" – although he was not actively discourage landlords from signing.

Writing on the online Huffington Post website, Richard Lambert said even surpassing the 100,000 signature mark may sound impressive but meant any subsequent debate by MPs would be “when 'parliamentary time allows' meaning that it could be months down the line, by which point the chance to affect change may well have passed."

You can see the petition here.

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    I am not a legal man, but I cannot believe that these announced changes are actually lawful!

  • Brit Sixteen Sixty Four

    Perfectly legal, the government are just removing tax relief which first time buyers don't get.

    I know 2 of landlords selling up before house prices fall because of the changes including wear and tear.

    Mark Hulbert

    Landlords get no "tax relief" on mortgage interest - they get only same right as every other business in the world, to deduct from their gross income all expenses necessarily incurred in generating that income before calculating their profit. Withdrawing that basic human right not be taxed on profit you haven't made is a travesty of justice, and it will clear tenants, landlords, and all others in property sector very dear. It should be scrapped or at least made non-retrospective.

     
    Mark Hulbert

    First time buyers don't pay Capital Gains Tax which landlords do every time they sell.

     
  • Mark Hulbert

    I predict a mass class action by evicted tenants, landlords, letting agents, estate agents and many Landlords get no "tax relief" on mortgage interest - they get only same right as every other business in the world, to deduct from their gross income all expenses necessarily incurred in generating that income before calculating their profit. Withdrawing that basic human right not to be taxed on profit you haven't made is a travesty of justice, and it will cost tenants, landlords, and all others in the property sector very dear. It should be scrapped or at least made non-retrospective..

  • icon

    I absolutely understand the sentiment felt by many Landlords who are impacted. I am one of them.
    But the tone of debate and sense of entitlement by many landlords has totally turned my view on this.
    The ability to deduct interest from a business cost is common sense - but it is not a human right.
    Many in the UK struggle to buy one home yet us Landlords have bought (using our ability to borrow) and then leased back to those unable to buy - however, we charge the tenant even more than the mortgage for our gain.
    I really do understand why this feels unfair - but there are huge injustices in this world and many human rights issues and this just is not one of them. If your trapped it may seem unfair - but there is a long line in front of you who feel they have been wronged by a government change.
    If a LL has to sell the house remains standing - it will be occupied by someone else - and if there are loses then there will be winners moving in.
    Cash Landlords are unaffected - but that is because they are using THEIR OWN money and that's up to them. If you have the money you tend not to buy lots of houses due to the work involved - there is better places for for money.
    So this is to avoid the recent explosion which could see 2 million BTL landlords all buying a little 10 house portfolio (ie that's 20 million houses of the 27 million total) then letting them back to the rest of the population.
    I have changed my strategy - there is some impact - but I am not calling this an injustice or infringement of my human rights.

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