Scottish Association of Landlords: Buy-to-let tax hikes ‘punitive and excessive’

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, has hit out at increased taxes on landlords from both Westminster and Holyrood – labelling them “punitive and excessive”.

Blackwood rubbished suggestions that landlords have prevented young people from getting on the housing ladder.

Meanwhile he said that in many parts of the UK private landlords are primarily responsible for modernising properties.

Blackwood said: “Many of the changes, such as ending the “wear and tear” allowance, increasing tax on mortgage interest and the blanket increase on tax for additional homes no matter the reason for purchase, seem punitive and excessive.

“I know it is hard to make anyone feel sorry for landlords but what if all of these changes are based on a false premise?

“What if reducing the number of landlords has not freed up houses for purchase by first-time buyers?

“Should landlords be taxed differently from other small businesses – on income rather than profit?

“What if all that has been achieved is to allow house builders to build hundreds upon hundreds of “build-to-rent” accommodation in the wrong locations, punishing a small business sector providing much-needed flexible accommodation in cities?”

Scotland is estimated to be around 7,000 new houses a year short to meet demand.

He added: “Driving out landlords with one or two properties cannot come close to bridging that gap – so, what strategic policy objective does increased tax on landlords serve?

“The risk is that by taking politically expedient and easy action, members of the Scottish Association of Landlords will be driven out of the market and, far from solving the housing crisis, we will see fewer of the right types of homes in the right locations across Scotland.”

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