The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has warned that the stamp duty hike announced in the Autumn statement will only worsen the current shortage of accommodation and drive up the cost of rents.
The Chancellor stated that ‘solving the housing crisis was a top priority’. But the RLA said the focus again seems to be help for first-time buyers and home ownership with the announcement that those buying second homes and investing in buy-to-let will pay an extra 3% stamp duty than others buying a primary home to live in.
This is another hit for landlords who are still anxious about how changes to mortgage interest relief (MIR) announced in the Summer Budget will affect them.
Given that the private rented sector has accounted for the large majority of new dwellings created in England between 1996 and 2013, this extra burden threatens to reduce the number of new homes available at a time when demand continues to rise.
RLA chairman Alan Ward said: “The biggest losers from the Autumn statement are tenants who will now find it even harder to get the accommodation they want at a price they can afford. The extra stamp duty on buy to lets will exacerbate an already serious shortage of properties in many areas reducing choice and driving up rents.
“The government should be encouraging landlords to invest, not doing everything they can to discourage them.”