Reporting on proceeding at the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) Great Mortgage Debate on 15th September, website Loantalk.co.uk says that a survey of the audience present found that 73% believed the government is unfairly targeting landlords with its private rented sector (PRS) policies.
Andrew Montlake, director at mortgage broker Coreco Group is quoted as saying that landlords are being used as a “political football” which could be dangerous for the housing market. Speaking at the event, Montlake thought that landlords had been unfairly treated at the hands of the government.
“Landlords have been a political football that’s been kicked around and blamed for the fundamental failure of successive governments [to really] have anything that resembles a decent housing policy.”
“It’s important that things don’t go too far and that we don’t destabilise the whole thing.
“…All of this together could be quite dangerous … We don’t want to give landlords an excuse to all sell at the same time and cause some issues,” said Mr Montlake.
Mr Montlake was not alone in his condemnation of the government following the swinging tax changes brought in by Chancellor George Osborne during 2015.
“…I think a lot of landlords [don’t actually] realise what effect [these] changes are going to have.
“They have their head in the sand still.
“And I think … in three or four years’ time when they start seeing their profit going down and down, they’re going to start wondering, and they need to do something about it now,” he said.
John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, joining in suggested that these changes may be responsible for a “sharp decline in landlord confidence” and a reduction in purchases through BTL mortgages.
Mr Heron agreed that diminishing returns may reduce the appeal of the landlord sector.
“…Where are these people that live in private-rented property going to live if landlords aren’t prepared to make the supply available because the returns aren’t there?”
Kate Faulkner, writer, broadcaster and owner of property consultancy Designs on Property, raised the issue of private landlords and social housing. Ms Faulkner insisted that landlords were being unfairly blamed for a lack of social housing.
“They are being unfairly scapegoated, and I’ll tell you the one bit that really winds me up is when they are accused of pocketing housing benefit,” Kate stated.
“Landlords don’t go around and force people to rent from them.”
“…They’re being hit by several different departments and nobody’s sat and actually worked out the cost … [which] is horrendous from a landlord’s perspective.
“I think they’re being caught in the crossfire and I just think there is a complete lack of understanding of what an investor earns from property.”
Landlords being scapegoated by government https://t.co/rtg9KiH7HD
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) September 22, 2016