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2015 - An Annus Horibilis For Residential Landlords?

Scott Leonard, partner in the Corporate & Commercial Team at Russell-Cooke LLP, comments

2015 was not a good year for residential landlords. Although prices and rental yields appear to have remained relatively robust, there have been a number of measures announced by the Chancellor which are likely to have a significant impact on the buy to let market. That, together with the launch of a consultation on whether to hand the Bank of England powers to impose restrictions on lending to buy to let landlords, means that being a residential landlord is suddenly looking a lot less attractive than it did before the General Election.

First came the announcement in July's budget that mortgage interest tax relief is to be restricted to relief at the basic rate of tax (to be phased in over four years from April 2017). This represents a substantial tax hike for higher and additional rate taxpayers.

Next came the Autumn Statement in November. This contained a double whammy for residential landlords. The Chancellor announced that with effect from April 2016 there will be a 3% stamp duty surcharge for those buying second homes and buy to let properties. It was also announced that from April 2019 capital gains tax on residential properties will be payable within 30 days of the sale. It is currently payable on 31 January following the end of the tax year in which the sale took place.

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