The Tories have done nothing but hammer landlords – with dire consequences

In July 2015, the newly elected Conservative-only Government used its first Budget to choke off investment in private rented homes, setting the scene for an unprecedented crisis of supply. The restriction on mortgage interest relief for landlords struck the viability of properties already let to tenants, whilst a 3pc stamp duty levy on the purchase of additional properties, introduced a few months later, disincentivised new investment. The consequences for tenants have been dire. According to Rightmove, there are now 11 prospective tenants enquiring about every available rental property. Our own research finds that although 63pc of landlords report demand for properties increasing, they are three times more likely to be selling, rather than purchasing, new rental homes. The crisis in supply is stripping tenants of the choice about where they live, driving up rents and making it more difficult for renters to save for a home of their own. All this was eminently predictable. Indeed, the Chancellor at the time was warned of the inevitable consequences, as were all his successors along with the myriad of housing ministers. If reports are to be believed, the only measure we will see in Wednesday’s Budget that may have any impact on rented...

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