Clause 24 Judicial Review Campaign

Clause 24 Judicial Review Campaign

13:39 PM, 26th December 2015, About 8 years ago 5

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Clause 24 Judicial Review Campaign

Landlords Fight Back

The initial £15,000 fund-raising target to seek legal opinion on the viability of a Judicial Review of Clause 24 of the Finance Bill 2015 was reached within hours.

Is Clause 24 of the 2015 Finance Bill (‘restricting finance cost relief for individual landlords’) discriminatory?

We think it is!

Join the campaign for a Judicial Review

It’s far from over yet though, this was just phase one.

When we have the legal opinion, and assuming it is positive, a further round of funding will be required to issue a pre-action protocol letter to the Government. This will create yet another wave of positive publicity highlighting the ‘Alice in Wonderland tax’. Further funding will then be required to issue proceedings and to make provisions for the other sides costs, just in case the case is lost and the claimants are ordered to pay them.

Whatever the outcome of the legal case, this is possibly the best ever opportunity that Private Landlords and associated service providers will ever get to join forces and dispell many of the negative myths promulgated by media and other political self-interest groups, some of which laughably masquerade as “housing charities”.

I am encouraging all landlords to become keyboard warriors and to comment of media articles. Not to respond directly to the negativity and the wind ups but to focus on what an important service private landlords provide in the UK housing sector.

If you are looking for inspiration on what to write in the comments sections of newspaper websites see this article.

THIS is the level of ignorance we are up against.

Related articles – LINK

Landlords Fight Back

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Anthony Endsor

18:21 PM, 27th December 2015, About 8 years ago

In addition to this, I also think there's a strong case to say the same about the new 3% extra stamp duty for new purchases.

Gareth Wilson

14:17 PM, 28th December 2015, About 8 years ago

The Crowd Fund has surpassed £30'000!

Ian Hamilton

21:31 PM, 28th December 2015, About 8 years ago

Wait till the RLA & NLA start notifying their members of this campaign. A longer stretch might be a good idea?

Mahmood Reza

13:01 PM, 29th December 2015, About 8 years ago

I've even had a 'gentle' disagreement and put someone straight over this on LinkedIn - out of a misunderstanding they thought it appropriate

Chris Cooper

14:33 PM, 29th December 2015, About 8 years ago

Joint Statement from Steve Bolton & Chris Cooper regarding the Clause 24 legal action:

We are repeatedly being asked three key questions regarding the “Alice in Wonderland” tax grab Judicial Review situation. The following joint statement should clarify our answers to the questions. We welcome questions, comments and feedback, that are both supportive and critical in nature…

The three questions are:

1. Who is behind this action?
2. What are we doing to work with other organisations?
3. What is the likelihood of success?

1. Who is behind this action?
Together, we (Chris and Steve) formally commenced legal process towards a proposed Judicial Review of Clause 24 (C24). The Board of Platinum Property Partners also supported the decision and signed off on a number of matters that could have potentially negative legal, financial and reputational implications for the organisation. This all happened before the campaign went live and any money was pledged.

Prior to this, a huge amount of work had been done by those behind the “Say No To George” petition, which has over 46,000 signatures, the teams and members of Property118 and Property Tribes, the ICAEW, the RLA, the NLA and many other organisations. All have been very positive and proactive in their own ways and helped to move the agenda forward. We applaud and thank anyone and everyone who has played their part, large or small, to move this agenda forward. There are scores of “unsung heroes”, many of whom have worked tirelessly and invested hundreds of hours of time to fight this unfair tax. Chris and I are just small, bit-part players who have come forward to push ahead with a new initiative, when compared to many others who have been working tirelessly for the last six months (and continue to).

As of 1am on Boxing Day, we started to represent a broader group of stakeholders in this action. Namely the 360 (and rising) people and organisations who have contributed over £26,649 in under 36 hours over a bank holiday weekend. We are very clear that we represent those people who have committed funds to this campaign and we must act in accordance with the case we set out on the Crowd Justice page Any deviation from this would not be in line with correct principles of corporate governance, to which we are committed towards upholding.

2. What are we doing to work with other organisations?
We started out with, and will continue to have, an ‘inclusive’ approach. Our goal is to build a “property coalition” – bringing together organisations and individuals to fight a common cause, which is Clause 24.

We are aware of other positive actions and activities being considered, or taken by a range of other organisations. Our message is very clear – “let’s work together.”

Dialogue has already started with a number of organisations. We would like to engage with more organisations who support the principle of challenging C24 and who have substantial reach and influence in the sector. If you are one of those people in one of those organisations, or you know someone who is, please ask them to email us so we can start a dialogue: As the old but very wise saying goes…

“None of us is smarter than all of us”

Steve was interviewed by the Guardian newspaper last week (…f-changes) and the point was debated that not many landlords care about this issue, and so why should the government or anyone else. The truth of the matter is that we either need to come together, or just have to sit back and accept – not just Clause 24, but the increasing number of taxes and laws that are going to have devastating consequences if the government continue unchecked with their current direction of travel. The time to act and come together better than we have ever done before is now. Full engagement with C24 is a catalyst and common cause that can unite an industry if we choose collectively to make that happen. The cynics say we have no chance, but nothing was ever achieved with a defeatist attitude from the outset.

3. What is the likelihood of success?
In a legal sense, our chances of success with C24 are slim. However, for many property business owners, this tax will be devastating. There are many stories where people will have their plans for retirement in tatters as a result of this unfair tax. Humanising this angle is one of our goals, and Chris has kindly agreed to share his story with national media this week. This story and more like it, will hopefully start to make more people realise that this tax is unfair, unintelligent and unjust. Facts and figures are helpful, but stories have always been the most effective means of influencing hearts and minds.

We believe, as do our legal team, that the Crowd Justice campaign “Judicial Review of Clause 24” could potentially have benefits even if an application for JR is refused or, if granted, fails. The campaign will:

Raise awareness amongst those landlords who are unaware of Clause 24, or the disastrous effects it will have on them.
Raise awareness amongst those in a position of influence, in the Houses of Commons and Lords, who are also unaware.
Stimulate discussion which will have the likely affect of bringing the Clause 24 topic back onto the Political agenda.
Raise our profile positively in the national media and start to fight against the demonization of the ‘parasitic landlords’, as the critics like to call us.
Make an industry-wide coalition a viable possibility and an idea worth pursuing.

Next Steps..
We have no vested interest in this beyond the ones we make clear on the campaign page. Any questions relating to transparency and potential for conflict will be welcomed and answered openly in the public domain. We have nothing to hide and no hidden agenda.

We plan to answer as many questions as time allows via all social media channels, so please join the conversation and please keep spreading the word.

The funding campaign needs to hit the £50k target within the week, to make a really positive statement of intent, so please encourage others to donate.

Let’s keep the total rising day by day and have all the money in the bank by Friday at midnight latest. Broad engagement with as many people voting with their wallets is the key goal here initially. Please do not fund more than you would be happy to lose, and do so on the basis that you won’t regret the financial loss if the action fails. We, and the lawyers, will do all in our power to make sure that does not happen but it is always better to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. The chances of success are slim but giving up with no hope is not the answer. The spin-off benefits alone listed above, could be worth more than the action itself to us as a community. So please engage as many people as you can and donate.

Further down the road, the idea for a “property coalition” could expand its scope and influence, but that conversation is for another day. For now, our eyes are fixed firmly on the legal challenge to the C24 prize.

We will update everyone via all social media channels on a regular basis.

A massive festive thank you to everyone who is supporting this action.

Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper

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