Over the weekend Number 10 said that a deal with the Democratic Unionists had been reached, but was then forced to backtrack after the Northern Ireland party said that negotiations were continuing.
In the end, it is widely expected that Theresa May’s plan for a loose alliance with the DUP to prop up her government will be agreed, but the deal is unlikely to end a continuation of the ‘landlord bashing’ we have seen over the past couple of years.
It is not the best time to be a buy-to-let investor at the moment, with a raft of ‘anti-landlord’ policies being introduced by the previous Tory government prompting concern that buy-to-let landlords with low profit margins could end up making a loss as a result of various tax changes, which will push some out of the market altogether.
The introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge last year, the scrapping of the 10% ‘wear and tear’ tax relief, the fact that mortgage tax relief is currently being phased out, the need for landlords to now check the residency of their tenants, and the fact that the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee has been granted greater powers over the buy-to-let market next year, means that buy-to-let landlords have gone through some testing times of late.
The list of negative changes in the sector goes on, and yet it is unlikely that any of the unpopular policies will be reversed under the next government, according to James Davis, CEO and founder of online lettings agency, Upad.co.uk.
Following last week’s shock general election, he said: “The landlord bashing is only likely to continue with Theresa May forming a deal with the DUP to allow her to continue leading the country.
“There were no new pledges set out to help struggling landlords in her manifesto. The Tories have proven that they can’t be trusted by landlords; as they continue to use them as a political football to kick around.”
“I certainly wouldn’t let one of my properties out to a Tory as you can’t trust them,” he added. “Whilst the Conservatives have recognised that the 8 million tenants in the UK are worth supporting politically, what they don’t seem to realise is that the changes they want to bring about for landlords, will eventually through the test of time affect tenants far more through higher rents.”