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Government lobbied for reforms ahead of November budget

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The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is calling for a number of reforms ahead of the 2017 budget on 22 November.

With the existing phasing out of mortgage interest relief (MIR), many landlords with low profit margins could end up making a loss as a result of the tax change - pushing some out of the market.

And with projections that the demand for homes in the private rented sector (PRS) will continue, with predictions that 25% of all homes will be in the PRS by 2021, the RLA says the Government axing its controversial cuts to MIR would be the best way to support the country’s small-scale landlords.

The association is also calling for:

  • action on the mortgage lenders who prevent landlords from offering the ‘family-friendly’ longer tenancies that some renters want;
  • the introduction of a scheme allowing tenants with good payment histories to have them recognised by credit reference agencies;
  • unused and abandoned plots of public sector land to be redeveloped as new sites for PRS homes;
  • the government to introduce tax incentives for those landlords willing to sell properties to sitting tenants (currently Capital Gains Tax stands at 28% and the RLA say a 20% tax should be applied) and those investing in energy efficiency improvements.

Research findings for the RLA report said that 77% of private landlords would consider selling their property to tenants if the tax liability was waived.

The RLA has been campaigning tirelessly for the reversal of the changes to MIR since they were announced, with thousands of members contacting or meeting their MPs to press home the devastating consequences of the plans on their tenants and businesses.

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