Rallying call as Autumn Statement approaches

Autumn Statement
Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The legal bid to force a judicial review of the Government’s controversial Mortgage Interest Relief – or Tenant Tax – plans failed at the High Court. But all is not lost.

While Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper have confirmed they will not appeal the decision, the RLA is continuing to lobby at the very highest level to persuade the Chancellor to rethink plans to stop buy-to-let finance costs being a legitimate business expense.

The RLA has been campaigning since the proposals were first announced in 2015, with representatives already meeting with Treasury officials to discuss the issue and lobbying work already making an impact in Westminster.

There has been a surge of support from Tory backbenchers and the association is continuing to campaign – asking that MIR changes be scrapped, or at the very least applied to new borrowing only, a move that will minimise the impact of these changes on established landlords.

RLA representatives have a further meeting with the Treasury scheduled ahead of the Autumn Statement, as well as a round table meeting with Tory MPs and Peers.

But it cannot work alone. It is vital that RLA members contact their MPs to explain the devastating impact that this unfair tax grab will have on them and their tenants.  They are also being asked to meet their MP to discuss the issues face-to-face.

An RLA survey of landlords showed these changes will lead to higher rents for tenants, see repair and maintenance standards slip and stem the supply of PRS housing at just the time when demand is soaring. This is bad news for everyone involved and the RLA says now is the time to let the Treasury know that.

It has updated its template letter for all members to send to their MPs. Landlords can download it and use the empty box to talk about their own experiences – or even better meet their MPs in person.

If they do, they are asked to take a photo and ‘tweet the meet’ tagging @RLA_News and their MP, if they have a Twitter account.

Alan Ward, RLA Chairman said: “We need to spread the word to as many people as possible.

“Hundreds of landlords have already backed the campaign writing to and meeting with MPs and we are asking those who have not yet got involved to join them.

“We need a last push ahead of the Autumn Statement. We need to hammer home to the Government just how devastating these changes will be and we need to stand together to oppose this unjust tax and fight for a fair deal for the PRS landlord.”

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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