Richard, Bowser, editor of Property Investor News, the respected monthly journal for property investors, gives a timely pre-budget reminder to George Osborne…
“One year ago very few private landlords would have paid that much attention to an upcoming Budget from our elected government. How times have changed since Chancellor George Osborne’s now infamous Post-election Budget in July 2015 when the outlook for many private landlords was transformed into a potential Orwellian nightmare, particularly for those with high borrowing levels who look set for their ‘pips to be squeezed’ as the four-year process of tax increases is implemented by The Treasury from next year onwards.
Clause 24 of the Finance Bill is of course being challenged by a determined and thankfully well-funded group of activist landlords who have cried “enough” towards this government’s attempts to ensure a less than level playing field exists in future and that the needs of potential home owners are placed ahead of private landlords.
I have no idea whether the Clause 24 legal challenge will succeed or not but it’s increasingly clear that a rising tide of resentment and outright anger now exists among many professionally minded landlords and property investors who feel a deep sense of betrayal from this Conservative government.
Yes there was a clear agenda by the Tories to respond to the determined lobbying efforts being put forward on behalf of tenants’ interests by the likes of Generation Rent and Shelter prior to the 2015 General Election but there was no reference by the Conservatives as to a policy decision – if elected – to mount a sustained attack via increased taxation on the buy-to-let landlord sector. This for many observers was a calculated and cynical betrayal of the many entrepreneurial landlords and associated property professionals who are natural Tory voters.
So now we all await the Chancellor’s appearance at the dispatch box in Parliament hoping that someone in Government has belatedly seen sense. However the potential votes of many millions of tenants are at stake for George Osborne, with his clear ambition to move into 10 Downing Street when David Cameron steps down.
These potential votes of 11 million tenants are a significantly larger number than that of 2 million private landlords, never mind those of the equally frustrated parents and grandparents who want their children to get a home of their own at an ‘affordable price’ and who see landlords as a greedy / parasitical group.
Just where many tenants would now live were it not for the huge PRS investment over the last 20 years by private landlords is something not often mentioned nor is the significant improvement in accommodation standards in much of the PRS in recent years.
Quite how a massive increase in house building supply is achieved has very little to do with private landlords and the problem is far more due a serious lack of building worker capacity alongside a notoriously fractured planning system which has led to decades of housing supply lagging occupier demand.
We now await Mr Osborne with bated breath….”
Richard Bowser is the editor of ‘Property Investor News’
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) March 15, 2016