Following the UK general election, the buy to let market will be hoping the new government doesn’t introduce any new policies affecting the sector.
Many landlords and property investors felt under attack by the last government, following significant reforms to the sector over the last several years, including the introduction of Section 24 and reforms to Stamp Duty.
A survey conducted by Martin & Co property managers last November found that 92% of landlords felt the government was anti-landlord, and its policies made 61% feel uncertain about the future of the buy to let market.
With the Conservatives emerging as the largest party again, their plans to continue rolling out Section 24 and introduce a ban on letting agent’s fees are likely to go ahead, but without a majority there’s some uncertainty about their ability to see any new proposals through Parliament.
Jonathan Harris, from Anderson Harris mortgage brokers, said that landlords will be hoping there are no more changes as the private rental sector adapts to mortgage tax relief being phased out and the cost of extra stamp duty on additional homes.
He said; “Landlords have come under sustained attack from the Conservatives, a party which you would normally expect to protect the interests of the hard working, small time entrepreneur. But politicians must realise that enough is enough and whichever coalition we end up with must lay off landlords at the very least until all the recent changes have bedded in.”
Mr Harris pointed out that the steep decline in the number of new buy to let purchases over the past year shows that investors are having second thoughts about entering the sector or expanding their portfolios due to recent Conservative policy.
Andrew Montlake of mortgage broker Coreco, worries that policies such as rent caps could be reintroduced as other parties attempt to use the hung Parliament to advance their own policies.
He warned that politicians should ‘remember that the private rental sector is of paramount importance to the UK housing market and taking things too far may well cause the landlord sell off authorities have been trying to avoid and exacerbate the crisis’.