There has been much in the news recently about the Private Rented Sector, restrictions for AirBnb hosts and the Government will be publishing the Renters Reform Bill later in the year.
Much of the debate has centred around the balance between the provision of quality homes for tenants to rent with the declining stock in the rental market and the consequential rise in rents that tenants are having to pay.
The Lettings & Property Management Team at Quealy & Co have discovered that a new survey of letting agents and landlords has put the reinstatement of Section 24 mortgage tax relief at the top of a list of wants.
PropTech platform Goodlord surveyed over 1,500 agents, landlords and renters to create a so-called manifesto - titled Renting Done Right - which makes a series of demands on the government.
A general one is to incentivise the lettings industry to encourage more investment, with 37 per cent of responding letting agents saying reinstating mortgage interest tax relief should be the government’s top priority: some 29 per cent of landlords agreed.
Before Section 24 was amended in 2017, landlords were able to deduct mortgage interest from their income tax - at that time it was also possible to offset mortgage application fees and some other loans. Now tax is payable on all rental income upfront, even if - combined with an income from a traditional job - it moves the landlord into a higher tax bracket. Instead, landlords now have only a basic rate reduction from their income tax liability for their finance costs of 20 per cent.
Overall in the Goodlord survey, some 77 per cent of landlords want financial incentives to boost investment.
Agents’ responses advocated a range of different ‘wish list’ entries including 11 per cent seeking the end of the three per cent buy to let Stamp Duty surcharge, but only one per cent wanted an increase in the Capital Gains Tax allowance which is being sharply cut by the current government.
Predictably, a strong demand from tenant respondents was for an end to, or cap on, the bidding process for rental properties in a hot market - 83 per cent of renters disagreed with agents and landlords allowing so-called over-bidding. Equally predictably, rent controls proved popular with tenants but not with property professionals submitting responses to the report.
In response to the question: “Which proposals to incentivise landlords should be the Government’s top priority?” the need for consistency and simplicity from government scored strongly.
Despite the challenges of the sector, some 65 per cent of agents reported feeling positive or at worst neutral.
William Reeve, Goodlord’s chief executive, says: “This manifesto is the result of months of work and in-depth discussions from across the letting industry. We hope this manifesto helps unlock conversations that help make renting better. The time to act is now.”
Free advice for Kent landlords
If you need marketing and legislation advice as a landlord in Kent, get in touch with the Lettings and Property Management team at Quealy & Co in Sittingbourne, by giving us a call on 01795 429836 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can advise you on how to achieve the best possible price for your rental property, while helping you to maintain compliance and keep your tenants comfortable.
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