Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?13:36 PM, 14th October 2020
About 2 weeks ago 60
We send you our apologies for the limited number of updates over the last month. Whilst it has been an incredibly busy time, the work being done has been largely by way of preparation for the next stage. You’ll be very pleased to hear that April will see our cause reach new heights. With your continued support, we aim to make great strides forward.
Here are the contents of this update:
1. Judicial Review progress report
The Judicial Review to challenge Clause 24 (now Section 24 of the Finance Act 2015) is on track as planned.
Our application to the court for a Judicial Review was lodged in mid February. A joint response came back from HMRC and the Treasury by way of their Acknowledgment of Service. We worked closely with our lawyers and have sent a robust response to the courts to counter the issues raised.
We are now waiting for the court to rule whether we have permission to proceed to a full Judicial Review hearing. With the facts at hand, we are confident that we will have the chance to fight our case in court. Our hearing, if granted, is expected to happen this autumn, which gives us time to launch subsequent fundraising campaigns and prepare the best possible legal case.
Social media, PR and industry collaboration efforts, which have all been running alongside the Judicial Review to foster support over the last three months, have already produced over 1,000 press cuttings nationwide and the issue has been covered by all mainstream media. Our grassroots cause is now starting to really gather steam. Sincere thanks go to the growing thousands of people who are supporting us. Landlords, tenants and organisations alike are getting on board. It is clear that a lot more needs to be done though, because so many landlords and tenants are still totally unaware of how badly they will be affected.
2. Campaign name change
After much discussion, expert advice and views from across the sector, we have renamed our campaign.
The new name is:
With the strapline:
This new name and strapline accurately link the plight of both landlords and tenants with a common objective in mind – the abolishment of this ludicrous legislation.
Here’s the new logo …..
The vast numbers of landlords who will be badly affected by Clause 24 will either be selling-up; thereby reducing the supply of rental property and increasing prices; or be forced to increase their rents far more aggressively than ever before. In both scenarios, additional costs that landlords incur will inevitably be passed on to tenants, with mortgaged landlords effectively acting as tax collectors. Many will face substantial losses. This article from the student property sector clearly proves that rents do rise when traditional buy-to-let property provided by private landlords is replaced by the large build-to-rent operators: http://www.nus.org.uk/en/news/nus-unipol-survey-shows-affordable-accommodation-is-dwindling/. This will be the shape of things to come if we don’t do something about it.
Aligned with the move to the Tenant Tax, we will also be eliminating use of the term ‘Mortgage Interest Relief’. This is just nonsense Government propaganda that hides the fact that mortgage interest is a ‘normal business expense’. All businesses in the UK, along with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), adhere to this very obvious and logical commercial principle.
We will be making the transition in terminology over the coming days and encourage you to do the same.
3. Tenant Tax Summit – Thursday 9th June 2016 – London
This is prior notice that we will be running a big and important event on the 9th June in London (we had initially planned for 10th June, but we had to change the date for a number of reasons – our apologies for any inconvenience caused).
The ‘Tenant Tax Summit – Landlords Fight Back’ will bring together hundreds of landlords, tenants, letting agents, industry organisations and luminaries in various fields. We will also have a very big national media presence on the day (and in the run up to the event). Some world-class keynote speakers are already lined up and there are three main objectives for the Summit:
We aim to make this a very enjoyable, inspiring, interactive, uplifting, informative, educational and motivational day. It is a unique chance for our grassroots supporters to come together, support each other, share ideas and shout from the rooftops, with the national media and key players from across the industry present. We want to show politicians, the media and the country at large that we truly are a force to be reckoned with. The days where ‘nobody loves a landlord’ must come to an end. We need to unite to show that we will not accept the victimisation of landlords and tenants by the out of touch political elite, who are deluded if they believe they can go unchallenged when trying to reclassify mortgage interest as anything other than a normal business expense!
There will be no selling, no profiteering, no get-rich-quick nonsense and no boring monotone lectures that drone on for hours and send you to sleep. We want to make this the best Property Summit the UK has ever seen and we would love for you to attend and bring friends, family and associates.
To be able to attend it will be necessary for everyone to make a further donation, to help us continue to fund the Judicial Review. However, attendance is obviously optional and we aim to make the donation level required to give you a free ticket to the Summit, affordable for all. We also aim to cover all of the event costs (venue, AV, etc) through corporate sponsors and partners, so that 100% of all donations can continue to be channelled to where they are needed most – towards the legal challenge.
4. Stage two fundraising launch
The official launch of the Tenant Tax Summit will happen at the same time as the next crowd-funding campaign. This will be during the week commencing 11th April. We will email you again at that time. We recommend that you ‘like’ our Facebook page, if you haven’t already done so, to receive more news from the campaign on an ongoing basis:
Your continued financial donations and all other forms of support are absolutely critical to our chances of success. Alongside this, we need you to spread the message far and wide. Please direct as many people as you can towards the forthcoming Crowdfunding and Tenant Tax Summit websites, when they launch in little over a week.
This is a grassroots, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven campaign, which means that we have no membership base to draw upon, no infrastructure and no income streams.
We must therefore rely upon the donations and support from those who, like us, believe strongly, deeply and passionately that the Tenant Tax is wrong on every level. If we allow a normal business expense to become a taxable expense for landlords, who will be next; Shopkeepers? Small business owners? Anyone who has used finance to help expand their business? The Tenant Tax is not just an issue for landlords, tenants and the property industry to care about – every business owner in the country, large or small, should be very worried that they might be next and back our cause.
We believe that our Judicial Review presents all of us with the very best chance of getting the Tenant Tax abolished. While there are no guarantees that we will win, it is our view that we must give this our very best shot. Any form of apathetic view on the legal challenge is one that we just brush aside whenever we hear it. As the old saying goes:
“People who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it”
Please feel free to share this update far and wide on social media and within your own networks, alongside encouraging many others to support our cause.
We hope to see you on the 9th June. Please lock down the date in your diary if you can. Further details will be emailed and available on most relevant social media channels from next week.
We send you our very warmest thanks for your continued support, belief and backing.
Chris Cooper and Steve Bolton
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