Ministers 'must ease pressure on landlords' with tax breaks

by Daniel Jones

Ministers have been urged to ease pressure on residential landlords' resources by changing the landlord tax system.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is concerned the existing tax system is stifling growth in the lettings sector, where costs are putting pressure on tenants and landlords alike.

Growing demand for rental property means landlords are being inundated with potential suitors for tenancy agreements, with rental accommodation shortages failing to succor their needs.

The RLA believes action by government to reform the tax system will help to grow the lettings sector, which in turn will help to address emerging demand.

Recommendations for "revenue neutral" tax measures have been proposed by the Association, to help boost property supply by incentivizing landlords to invest and offer more tenancies.

RLA chairman Alan Ward explained that, in the current economic climate, there is little incentive for landlords to re-invest in new property.

"I hope that amongst the measures the chancellor will be announcing in the autumn statement to boost growth, he will change the tax treatment of the private rented sector to allow it to grow and create more supply and so stimulate revenue and employment in the refurbishment and building sectors."

Earlier this month, Mr Ward noted that many property owners are tempted to move into the private-rented market, perhaps by renting a room, because it provides them with some financial stability.

The RLA has identified London as one of the best places to establish lettings, because competition is high, making it easier for landlords to secure tenants.

Recent research by the Department for Communities and Local Government indicated that eight in ten landlords (78 per cent) owned a single dwelling for rent.

Furthermore, only eight per cent considered themselves full-time landlords, suggesting many have other work commitments.

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Published on: October 21, 2011

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