Housing Minister Brandon Lewis denies claims that the Government is trying to “kill-off” buy-to-let (BTL) but on the contrary wants to “create a more professional private rental sector and eliminate rogue landlords.”
The Minister was responding to claims from ex-Conservative MP and Minister Michael Portillo. Speaking
Speaking at the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) conference Mr Lewis defended the government’s stance, insisting that it was never the government’s intention to damage the private rented sector (PRS) by killing off buy-to-let.
Landlords have recently been hit hard by a series of regulatory changes to the management of their rental properties and their finances, notably a 3% Stamp Duty surcharge, a to the change in the Wear and Tear Allowance, and the gradual removal over 4 years of mortgage interest relief.
Mr Lewis told letting agents at their conference that the Government is still backing the private rental sector through schemes such as Build to Rent, though it is obvious that this will be more of a benefit to institutional investors rather than the 2 million or so small-scale landlords making up over 90% of the PRS.
Mr Lewis stressed:
“Our primary focus is increasing supply and homeownership. Most people (86 per cent) want to own their own home, but we also want a private rented sector. We want more institutional money and more professionally managed property.
“Buy-to-let is still an area with capital security and revenue returns, so there is still an attractive revenue model.”
Mr Lewis thought that schemes such as Right to Rent would crack down on rogue landlords.
Answering questions from the audience, Mr Lewis indicated that there are plans to look into introducing electrical safety rules in England, similar to new rules in operation in Scotland. He also intimated that he was interested in looking at measures to make it easier to avoid court proceedings in tenant evictions.
Government denies trying to “kill-off” Buy-to-Let https://t.co/kuOhx9GbNI
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) April 26, 2016