The Tory leadership contest is well underway with just two candidates - Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt - left in the race. But while the two are vying to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May, with the result due on July 23, speculation is growing over who could be the UK’s next Chancellor?
Whoever replaces Philip Hammond as Chancellor of the Exchequer will almost certainly look to hold an emergency budget with a view to offering a change of fiscal direction, and this an opportunity to reverse punitive tax policies in order to increase much needed housing supply the private rental sector.
Paul Sloan, operations director for haart, said: “With a new Chancellor, we will repeat our calls for changes to current policy to support improvements in the PRS.
“In particular, the taxation changes impacting private landlords have been relentless. We would suggest that a rethink on those taxes would be a very good place to start.”
Draconian tax changes applying to buy-to-let investors has left a number of private landlords with little alternative but to evict tenants and sell properties en masse or simply increase rents for tenants.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that some landlords have not been able to cope with punitive tax hikes introduced by former Chancellor George Osborne, including the phasing out of mortgage interest relief.
Many private landlords have also had to endure the scrapping of the ‘wear and tear’ allowance for furnished properties, the launch of the 3% stamp duty surcharge, as well as the introduction of stress tests for buy-to-let mortgages.
Sloan continued: “Whether it’s the additional Stamp Duty Land Tax levied on purchasers’ second and subsequent homes, the phased reduction in tax relief allowable against mortgage payments, or the loss of the wear and tear allowance, life has grown significantly harder for landlords over the past few years.
“We must ensure that private landlords who are providing homes for millions of households across the UK feel able to remain in this sector.
“With the appointment of a new prime minister and Chancellor, we will be redoubling our efforts to act as the voice of private landlords across the country.
“For the time being though, we can only wait and see what the next few weeks and months have in store for the sector.”