Buy-to-let landlords could soon be hit with an empty homes tax after the Chancellor Philip Hammond yesterday gave local councils the ability to increase the council tax premium on empty homes from 50% to 100%.
The move is the latest in a long line of anti-landlord measures introduced in recent Budgets by the existing government, including the 3% stamp duty surcharge, the scrapping of the 10% ‘wear and tear’ tax relief, and the phasing out of mortgage tax relief.
Hammond said: “It can’t be right to leave property empty when so many are desperate for a place to live.”
Danielle Cullen, managing director of rental listings business ClickTenant, described the empty homes tax as yet another “crippling” announcement by the Chancellor for private landlords.
She said: “Landlords have been completely paralysed by Conservative announcements recently, with the UK moving down 10 places in the list of best European countries to invest in buy-to-let property in recent months.”
Cullen pointed out that Hammond offered no greater clarity over the proposed ban on tenant letting fees.
“We’re also still no more informed on the tenant lettings fee ban, which is also set to increase rental costs for landlords, as many agents have outlined they will have to pass over the costs,” she added.