Property experts have largely welcomed yesterday’s budget for not being the raid on the buy-to-let market that many had expected, however, Rishi Sunak has come under fire from those who believe he ignored the private rental sector.

Propertymark says he should have announced details to tackle Covid-related rent arrears.

According to policy and campaigns manager, Timothy Douglas (pictured, the extension to the temporary £20 per week increase to Universal Credit for a further six months doesn’t tackle the fundamental issues that continue to make the benefit inadequate and ineffective.

He says: “The government should give tenants choice over whether the housing element is paid direct to their landlord…and to tackle rent arrears the Universal Credit advance should be turned into a non-repayable grant from the first day of the claim.”

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Generation Rent agrees that the Chancellor ignored the rent debt crisis.

Director Alicia Kennedy says his announcement of 95% mortgages is completely out of touch when 60% of private renters had no savings at the start of the pandemic and another 18% have had to use savings to pay their rent in the past year.

She adds: “Stoking demand with more lending and extending the stamp duty holiday will not fix the underlying shortage of homes available to buy.” 

Out in the cold

Cem Savas, CEO and co-founder of Plentific also believes renters have been left out in the cold while home-buyers get all the incentives. “It remains only a small section of society who have these options,” he says.

“At a time when many are struggling, the government should be considering how it can improve the quality of the UK’s rented homes and not solely focus on those fortunate enough to buy.”

David Alexander (pictured), joint CEO of apropos, reckons the delayed 6% increase in Corporation Tax (set to happen in April 2023) is a worry for landlords.

“For those businesses with a large portfolio of properties and substantial profits this will be a concern,” says Alexander. “The two-year delay may also put off many large-scale property investors who will see the substantial hike in Corporation Tax rates as unduly punitive when other international options are available. However, I welcome the fact that he has not gone after Capital Gains Tax at the moment.”

The lack of an announcement on Capital Gains Tax is a positive, agrees co-founder of UniHomes, Phil Greaves, who says: “It’s great news to see that for once, the government has decided to ease the pressure placed on the throats of hard-pressed landlords in recent years.

“Deterring landlords will only ever reduce the level of rental stock available to satisfy the huge number of people reliant on the sector in order to live.”

Read more about stamp duty.

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