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Government damaging supply of rented housing says Tory Peer

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

A former Conservative Shadow Cabinet member has criticised the Government’s approach to the private rented sector.
Writing for the Daily Telegraph today ahead of the Budget, the former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Flight has noted that faced with ever growing demand for homes to rent: “The Government should be supporting investment in the sector and not, through the recent tax changes relating to buy-to-let, actively discouraging it.”

A former Conservative Shadow Cabinet member has criticised the Government’s attitude to buy-to-let landlords – claiming the private rented sector is  vital to solving the UK housing crisis.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph today ahead of the Budget, the former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Flight has noted that faced with ever growing demand for homes to rent: “The Government should be supporting investment in the sector and not, through the recent tax changes relating to buy-to-let, actively discouraging it.”

Addressing the Chancellor’s argument that buy-to-let housing is preventing aspiring owners from getting on the property ladder, Lord Flight warns against pretending that “there is a false choice to be made between supporting rented housing on one hand, and home ownership on the other.”

“There is”, he concludes, “little, if any, evidence to demonstrate that home owners and buy-to-let investors are chasing after the same properties.”

He cites also the Institute for Fiscal Studies which has said that, contrary to assertions by the Government, landlords are taxed much less favourably than home owners.

In his article Lord Flight backs proposals by the RLA, recently supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, calling for capital gains tax rollover relief to be allowed for landlords where the proceeds of sale are reinvested in new homes.

The Conservative Peer calls also for greater efforts to be made to free up small plots of unused public sector land that are not attractive to corporate investors but which smaller scale landlords have traditionally been good at developing.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and award-winning Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

1 Comment

  • I have already written to my MP iterating similar comments, on a small unscientific poll with my, admittedly small group of tenants, asking if these changes would help them at all in buying their own properties the universal reply was “No” it fact all of them expect a rent rise to cover the extra costs caused by government policy. The reality is that none of my tenants are in a position to rent accommodation for their families and save a deposit to buy at the same time. Another “Straw” poll by myself using my family and friend’s who are also Landlords produced a not surprising result. Collectively, although buying as individuals, we had intended to buy some 8 to 10 houses to rent out over the next 18 months, but the changes in policy have now discouraged us all from making further investment. It has to be said that this area is very healthy for rental properties, lots of people wanting to move into our location with very little to rent. To sum up based upon my “straw polls” recent government actions have raised very real concerns with tenants that rents will increase, which will probably prove correct, they have reduced the number of rental properties and done nothing to help tenants buy their own houses, just the opposite! Another problem introduced is the effect on individual property developers, I have developed 2 properties from a derelict condition to good renewed accommodation, In my area finding similar properties with enough slack in the prices to make a “profit” is hard…but now with the extra stamp duty being imposed it really is not worth the effort at all….what do you think the effect of this will be ??

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