Housing minister in talks with buy-to-let tax change campaigners

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has agreed to meet campaigners opposed to the clampdown on landlords’ mortgage interest tax relief.

The measure – to be phased in over four years from April 2017 – has been the subject of a vigorous campaign by landlords Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper.

They are now expected to meet with Barwell for 45 minutes in early September, a few days before a court date – likely to be on September 14 or 15 – at which they will learn whether they have won the right to trigger a judicial review of the original decision.

As we have reported for some months, the landlords and their supporters – including the National Landlords’ Association and Belvoir letting agency – say section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015 is an infringement on buy to let investors’ rights.

In July 2015 the then-Chancellor George Osborne announced that mortgage interest tax relief for buy to let homebuyers should be restricted to the basic rate of income tax, currently 20 per cent, even if they themselves pay the higher 40 or 45 per cent tax rates. It was described as a measure to address “unfairnesses in property taxation”.

Opponents believe it could be declared null and void on a judicial review.

The latest statement from the landlords, issued on Facebook, says: “Our legal team are now hard at work attending to the remaining preparations for the permission hearing, and together, we are confident that our case is strong enough to progress.”

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Written by: Houseladder