ARLA and NAEA Propertymark call for review
In the run up to the General Election on 12 December, ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark have called for the new government to launch a review of all taxes affecting private landlords.
Both bodies also want the 3% surcharge removed from additional residential properties.
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark and Mark Hayward of chief executive NAEA Propertymark, said: “The next government must launch a review of all taxes relating to private landlords.
“Investment is falling because the phasing out of tax relief on mortgage interest for landlords, the additional stamp duty land tax surcharge on buy-to-let property and the repercussions of the Tenant Fees Act means that landlords costs have significantly increased and many landlords can no longer make ends meet.
“Through a review the government will be better placed to introduce policies that reduce costs for those wishing to invest in the sector, which in turn will help reduce rent for tenants, lead to longer-term tenancies and make it more affordable for renters.
“To boost the supply of rented housing the government should remove the 3% surcharge on additional homes.
“The policy disadvantages those buying their first property with the help of guarantor mortgages as well as homeowners who must purchase a new main residence before sale completion of their previous property.
“The policy has also contributed to a stagnation of the private rented sector, which is now the second largest housing tenure after owner occupiers.”
ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark have also called for more regulation of property agents.
They call for government regulation to ensure that everyone in the industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice and holds at least a level three qualification which is the equivalent to an A-level.
Both bodies also want an annual ‘MOT’ of rental properties to replace the expensive existing discretionary licensing schemes and for the government to exempt downsizers from stamp duty or give them incentives to encourage them to move.
The bodies want a dedicated Housing Court for England and Wales to cut the time taken for a landlord to gain possession of a property and to make the process more straightforward for all parties involved.
Other suggestions include introducing a digital logbook for every property bought and sold, legislating to ensure developers remedy leasehold agreements containing onerous clauses and the introduction of an open database for rogue landlords and property agents.
The bodies want the new government to lift the Local Housing Cap and improve how Universal Credit operates, giving the tenants the option of the housing element of the benefit to be paid directly to the landlord.