Tax changes impact smaller landlords

Small-scale buy-to-let landlords have been worst hit by tax and regulatory changes to the private rented sector, according to the trade association for lenders.

A report from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) shows landlords with one property made up 21% of the private rented sector in 2018, down from 40% in 2010.

Over the same period, the portion owned by landlords with five or more properties had increased from 38% to 48%.

A series of regulatory changes have impacted landlords since 2015, including a 3% stamp duty surcharge on additional property and tapered restrictions on mortgage interest relief.

Most recently, a ban on tenant fees came into place on 1 June 2019, which is estimated to cost landlords around £83 million.

According to IMLA, overall growth in the sector has slowed, with data from 2017 showing the first annual decline in the number of private rented sector properties since 1999.

The report said:

"The additional burdens on landlords have not led to a mass exodus, but even a modest decline in the size of the private rented sector will reduce tenant choice and could push up rents.

"We therefore think the authorities should take time to evaluate the impact of existing changes before introducing any further adverse tax or regulatory measures."

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