Autumn Statement 2016 – Landlords Reactions

Autumn Statement 2016 – Landlords Reactions

13:30 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago 30

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Chancellor Phillip Hammond delivered his Autumn statement today. No doubt there will be much discussion amongst landlords and letting agents yet again. autumn statement

And the good news for private landlords and their agents is ….. drum roll ….. errr ……. NONE!

Did anybody really expect a repeal of the legislation that will remove mortgage interest as a legitimate business expense from private landlords over the next four tax years? The responses from MP’s and Treasury are clear evidence that our concerns are not being heard and that we need to shout louder. Perhaps the best we could have hoped for was a softening of the policy to remove the retroactive effects by applying the changes to new purchases only. However, the Treasury clearly don’t give a damn about how their policies will affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of landlords and tenants and the misery it will cause, as has already proven to have been the case in Ireland. They simply continue to trot old the same old sophistry in the apparent belief that if they say the same thing often enough it will all turn out fine.

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Letting Agents will no longer be able to charge fees to tenants

Major letting agents including Foxtons and Countrywide have already seen sharp falls in the value of their shares since this announcement was leaked last night.

Whilst the Chancellors announcement will no doubt be treated by tenants as good news, industry bodies do not see it that way.

David Cox, Managing Director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), said …

“A ban on letting agent fees is a draconian measure, and will have a profoundly negative impact on the rental market. It will be the fourth assault on the sector in just over a year, and do little to help cash-poor renters save enough to get on the housing ladder. This decision is a crowd-pleaser, which will not help renters in the long-term. All of the implications need to be taken into account.

“Most letting agents do not profit from fees. Our research shows that the average fee charged by ARLA Licenced agents is £202 per tenant, which we think is fair, reasonable and far from exploitative for the service tenants receive.

“These costs enable agents to carry out various critical checks on tenants before letting a property. If fees are banned, these costs will be passed on to landlords, who will need to recoup the costs elsewhere, inevitably through higher rents. The banning of fees will end up hurting the most, the very people the government intends on helping the most.” 

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer at the National Landlords Association (NLA), said …….

“The new Chancellor is clearly aware of the pressures facing those living in the private-rented sector, but in attempting to improve affordability he has shown that, like his predecessor, he lacks an understanding of how the whole sector works.

“There’s no doubt that some unscrupulous agents have got away with excessive fees and double-charging landlords and tenants for far too long.  Banning letting agent fees will be welcomed by private tenants, at least in the short-term, because they won’t realise that it will boomerang back on them.

“Agents will have no other option than to shift the fees on to landlords, which many will argue is more appropriate, since the landlord employs the agent.  But adding to landlords’ costs, on top of restricting their ability to deduct their business costs from their taxable income, will only push more towards increasing rents”. 

Chris Sheldon. Managing Director of said ….

“It was only a matter of time before the legislation introduced in Scotland would filter into the rest of the UK so our business model was already prepared and ready for implementation. Our new fee scale to landlords will continue to be the most competitive in the Country offering full management for just 5% of rent (6% for properties inside the M25) and letting fees of just £100 per new tenant (£150 inside the M25). We will not charge for renewing tenancies for existing tenants. We anticipate a substantial increase in business as many landlords will be looking to reduce costs to in order to compensate for continually squeezed profitability, not only as a result of this announcement but also the tax changes announced over the last 18 months to mortgage interest relief and additional stamp duty.”


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Simon Hall

13:34 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

What a Load of Bollocks by Mr Hammond- Boring and Dull Statement.

The only one thing he said positive is that government will look to support individuals to incorporate particularly those who are running same businesses as Corporations and he went to say...we will consult upon these measures.

Did you miss that Mark? as he said it in very casual manner.

John Birchenough

14:19 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Hall" at "23/11/2016 - 13:34":

Another attack on Landlord's and their agents, why are we blessed with so many incompetent MPs. Would it no made better sense to cap the fees and perhaps not charge vat? Sorry if we did not charge vat then MP's would loose out on their expenses????

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

14:32 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Hall" at "23/11/2016 - 13:34":

Hi Simon

No I didn't miss that.

The devil will be in the detail and I look forward to reading it. However, cynically I anticipate incorporation relief to be improved for all businesses, perhaps with a roll over relief on latent gains, but for incorporation relief to be excluded completely for landlords.

Simon Hall

15:03 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "23/11/2016 - 14:32":

You might be right they might exclude property investors from incorporation however he failed to mention it as George Osborne did mention in his budget statement that Landlords were excluded from CGT reduction.

BP Surrey

15:06 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

Assuming the agents pass on the fee they currently charge the tenant to the landlord, then the obvious solution seems to me, is for the landlord to offer his property as follows, Rent £750pcm, Deposit £1025, plus 50% contribution to the landlords letting costs. 50% being the total currently being charged to the landlord and tenant by the agent.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

15:22 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Hall" at "23/11/2016 - 15:03":

I think it is a strong likelihood as it was picked up as a discussion point amount politicians prior to the last budget. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it is inevitable.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

15:48 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

'City a.m.' commenting:

It is a nuclear scale attack on the PRS. Shall we start bidding what will be next? As I already written on a different thread, I think the Letting Agents fees will become tax-nondeductible and then we will be criminalised and treated accordingly.

Simon Hall

15:58 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Whiteskifreak Surrey" at "23/11/2016 - 15:48":

Give them few new ideas so your friends can implement them. Don't forget everyone is able to read comments including, journalists, shelter, HMRC and treasury on open forum like Property118 regardless of the fact whether they are members or not.

So whilst you fear something, it may not be far from reality if you keep publishing new ideas in an open forum like this.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

16:02 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

Another cost for LLs on the horizon:
Somehow it is OK if the insurance companies pass that on their customers. But Hammond seems to think it will hit insurers not a man on the street...
Idiocy at its best.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

16:16 PM, 23rd November 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Hall" at "23/11/2016 - 15:58":

HI Simon - your comment is appreciated. However I am not the only one who comments that way. Some of us said they were not affected by Section 24 but will raise rents anyway. That attracted very angry comments on FB, if I remember correctly. Some predicting and commenting on a possible rent cap.
Social Media and comments in eNewspapers are full of "wonderful" ideas how to punish LLs even more or better eradicate them completely.
Please remember that NOBODY even dreamed of principles of S24 (perhaps only that teenage geography student adviser) and it was born at Treasury out of the blue...
I am just sure that they are planning next steps regardless what we publish or not.
But I agree that it is better to be cautious. And fight as much as we can (I am already contributing BTW)

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