Buy to Let

Call for Public Sector Land to be Developed for Buy to Let

The Residential Landlord Association (RLA) has called for abandoned or unused plots of public sector land to be redeveloped as new sites for private rental sector homes.

It is expected that at least 25 per cent of all homes will be in the private rental sector by 2021, and the RLA wants the government to make usable plots of public sector land available to help plug the housing gap and support the private sector.

The government has encouraged greater institutional investment in the private rented sector but it is thought that this will not be enough to meet the rising demand, without the release of public sector land.

In a submission before the November 2017 budget, the association has also called on the government to scrap the controversial cuts to mortgage tax relief planned, that are due to affect private sector landlords.

Ireland have already scrapped the controversial changes to tax relief, and it is hoped that the UK government could follow their lead.

Action on mortgage lenders who prevent private landlords from offering longer tenancies was also called for, in addition to the introduction of a scheme for credit reference agencies to recognise tenants with good rental payment records.

Other proposals from the RLA include tax incentives to landlords who offer longer tenancies, and those who are willing to sell properties to sitting tenants.

They have proposed that where a landlord is prepared to sell a property to a sitting tenant the 20 per cent rate of Capital Gains Tax should be applied rather than the current 28 per cent.

RLA chairman Alan Ward said: ‘RLA research shows many landlords have stopped investing in more properties as a result of recent tax changes, instead moving into short term holiday lets or ceasing to rent to groups deemed ‘high risk’ such as the young and those on benefits.

‘These decisions have far-reaching consequences for a country in the grip of a housing crisis and we will do everything in our power to convince the government that this unfair tax must be reversed.’

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