Industry News Sam Hunter 20/12/2021

Report lays bare impact of tax hikes on rental market

Over half of private landlords responding to a new survey say recent tax changes in the rental market have had a negative impact on their investment plans.

That’s the finding from a new study by the London School of Economics (LSE) for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

Based on responses from over 1,400 private landlords across England it finds that 52 per cent say tax changes have deterred them from making further investment and acquiring more properties.

Recent changes have included restricting mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax, a three per cent stamp duty levy on the purchase of additional homes and a decision to cut Capital Gains Tax to 18 per cent for everything other than on gains from the sale of residential property.

Overall, a third of respondents said the reform to mortgage interest relief was the tax change having the greatest effect on the operation of their rental business. Of this group, 39 per cent said the change meant that they were not proceeding with planned future purchases whilst 31 per cent said they had put plans on hold. 28 per cent said they were taking steps to leave the sector altogether.

27 per cent of landlords said that the stamp duty levy was significant; followed by changes in the tax treatment of furniture and fittings (26 per cent), and in the capital expenditure allowance (24 per cent).

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“The NRLA will be studying this report carefully as it prepares detailed plans to support investment in the sector.

“That said, it is clear that recent tax increases have deterred investment in the sector. With the demand for homes to rent outstripping supply this will only hurt tenants as they face less choice, higher rents and find it more difficult to save for a home of their own as a result.”

Christine Whitehead, Emeritus Professor of Housing Economics atLondon School of Economics and a co-author of the report said:

“Our work on taxation of landlords across Europe (also in the report) suggests that as a result of the changes in taxation since 2015 individual landlords in Britain are being increasingly disadvantaged when compared to corporate landlords and other investment types”.