A parliamentary e-petition has been started by a landlord calling for the government to withdraw both the 3% additional Stamp Duty for second home buyers, and the recently-introduced reductions in tax relief on mortgage interest payments.
Mark Homer, who is both a landlord and a director of investment advice firm Progressive Property, says he launched the petition out of frustration with the havoc government policies are wreaking on the private rental market. It has already gathered over 15,300 signatures in a week.
“These measures have already begun to push up rents in my home town of Peterborough where they have risen by £200 a month on average over the past couple of years,” he says.
“There are many fewer landlords buying properties to rent here because of the recent tax changes.
“It’s having a major impact on tenants both in terms of how much rent they pay and how much choice they have.”
Homer (pictured) says he doesn’t believe that the mortgage interest tax relief has taken effect in full yet because many landlords “haven’t sat down with their accountants to work out what it really means for them”.
His petition has piqued ministers at the HM Treasury and the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government, who have already posted a response to the petition online.
It argues that the government’s measures have balanced the tax advantages of property ownership for landlords versus those offered to first time buyers.
“By restricting landlords’ finance cost relief to the basic rate of income tax we are helping to reduce the advantage landlords may have over homeowners in the property market,” it says.
But Homer disagrees, pointing out that first time buyers don’t pay capital gains tax but can get help buying via the taxpayer through Help to Buy, and that the system is too heavily “weighted toward first time and second-time buyers now”, he says.
Read the petition, which has until November 14 to run, here.
Read more about buy-to-let taxes.