BTL Tax Reforms Are 'Misguided'
The government is being urged to reconsider its BTL tax reforms as rents begin to soar and the number of landlords begins to fall, one firm of estate agents say.
According to data from haart, the number of landlords registering to buy with their branches in London fell by 41.3% over the past year and by 37.4% across the UK.
Now, the firm says that Chancellor Philip Hammond must reconsider the 'misguided buy to let tax reforms' with a lack of new homes to buy pushing up rents by 6% in London.
In addition, over the last month, tenant demand in the capital has risen by 14.1% and by 25.4% over the last 12 months.
The average rent is now £1,924 in London, an increase of 0.2% on the month and 6% over the year.
Average rents fell by 0.7% month-on-month
The data also reveals that across England and Wales average rents fell by 0.7% month-on-month and by 6.8% over the past 12 months.
Sales of buy to let properties rose by 13.9% across England and Wales on the year, but in London they dropped by 25% with average sale prices falling 8.8% in England and Wales and by 5.4% in the capital.
The chief executive of haart, Paul Smith, said: "The lack of new homes for buying has pushed up rents by 6.6% with Londoners scrambling for rental accommodation.
"This is not a fault of Brexit but a consequence of the government's misguided efforts for reforming the property market with tax on buy to let landlords.
"Until BTL taxation is relaxed, we are expecting rents to increase through 2019 and tenants will increasingly face difficulties finding a home in London."
NatWest lifts BTL landlord restrictions
Meanwhile, the NatWest has revealed that it is lifting the restrictions on BTL landlords having tenants who receive housing benefit.
The move follows close scrutiny of the bankís lending practices last October, when a landlord was refused a mortgage because she was renting to someone receiving housing benefit.
ĎPotential discrimination clauses against DSSí
The Work and Pensions Committee wrote last week to several mortgage firms about the potential discrimination clauses against DSS recipients in their lending policies.
Other changes announced by NatWest include extending the maximum length of time for an assured shorthold tenancy from to 36 months from 12 months to enable landlords to offer their tenants security.
A spokesman for NatWest said that the changes were brought in to help support smallest landlords and a review had helped them to better understand the market and to bring their policies in line with those offered in the commercial segment.