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Zoopla chief backs campaign against buy-to-let tax changes

The chief executive of Zoopla has thrown his weight behind opposition to the government’s proposed restrictions on buy-to-let tax breaks.

Alex Chesterman, in a question and answer session with readers of Letting Agent Today and Estate Agent Today, says the proposals announced by Chancellor George Osborne in July’s budget are “troubling.”

Osborne’s proposal is that mortgage interest tax relief for buy-to-let homebuyers should 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.

However, Alex Chesterman is concerned. “The recent changes to tax breaks available to private landlords are not well thought out in my view and could have a negative effect on both the number of properties available in the private rented sector .... and on the rents that need to be charged to achieve the desired return on investment,” he says.

Chesterman has also ruled out allowing private landlords to directly advertise their homes to let on Zoopla and PrimeLocation.

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