Housing minister at odds with Govt on buy-to-let crackdown


Mortgage experts say anti-landlord tax changes instigated by former chancellor George Osborne will still come in despite the new housing minister setting out a favourable stance towards the rental sector.

Osborne has imposed higher stamp duty rates on buy-to-let properties and second homes, as well as cuts to mortgage interest relief in a bid to discourage private landlords and support Conservative homeownership ambitions.

But last week new housing minister Gavin Barwell said there should be a focus on building homes “of every single type” and backed the “good, thriving private rented sector”.

Barwell said: “Recent growth in the bespoke rental market has been impressive, but this progress must be expanded.”

But Mortgages for Business managing director David Whittaker says: “I don’t see the new housing minister repealing anything Osborne has put into place on the private rental sector. Once HM Revenue & Customs has something dialled in, they don’t let go. Not a cat’s chance in Hades.”

Richard Farr Consulting director Richard Farr says: “The clampdown on landlords is going to roll out.

“The biggest structural issue is we aren’t building enough houses. Suppressing the buy-to-let market just makes rents even worse.”

But Bill Warren Compliance director Bill Warren says: “They have been hammering buy-to-let, but that market supplied the rental properties for which there was a big demand.

“I don’t think it is too late to have a look at it, though I know once the Government has a source of income they are reluctant to give it up.”