PRIVATE LANDLORDS ASK CHANCELLOR TO HELP THEM BOOST LOCAL ECONOMIES


The Residential Landlords Association is calling for a raft of tax incentives to help private rented sector landlords to boost local economies and beat the ‘credit crunch’.


[UKPRwire, Mon Apr 20 2009] The Residential Landlords Association is calling for a raft of tax incentives to help private rented sector landlords to boost local economies and beat the ‘credit crunch’.

“During this major financial crisis, more and more people are renting rather than buying properties and private landlords are a rising source of employment for workmen who repair and maintain them,” says RLA lawyer and secretary Richard Jones.

So the association’s budget day appeal is for the Chancellor to consider new incentives – including a VAT cut to five per cent for renovation and repair work – so the private rented sector can become “a vehicle for increased economic activity.”

As well as the VAT issue landlords are suggesting tax relief for improvements to certain types of shared houses, Capital Gains Tax rollover relief for reinvestment in residential property and changes to stamp duty and land tax.

Residential Landlords Association members own over 100,000 properties, throughout the UK, privately rented to all kinds of tenants from families, students and young professionals to housing allowance claimants.

“Private landlords should therefore be treated as businesspeople who stimulate local economies by employing workmen and buying building materials for property repair and renovation in a sector that provides a key source of essential housing,” says Richard Jones.

“The sort of measures we are suggesting would help landlords to do that even more at a time when local economies and businesses desperately need customers with greater spending power.

“Now that the EU has agreed to a maximum 5% tax rate for renovation and repair work, this government should urgently do the same. That would enable landlords to bring renovation and repair programmes forward for older properties that are more expensive to maintain and often need refurbishment.

“And, as well as improving existing properties, to comply with new licence conditions, fire safety and amenity standards, this could help new ones into the rented market and thereby increase the housing supply.

“Residential property investors, who actively manage their own portfolios, should be treated in the same way as those who let furnished holiday accommodation. We believe that renting out properties for people to live in is more economically important and the tax treatment should be the same.

“If landlords, too, could claim Capital Gains Tax rollover relief for reinvestment, as well as more advantageous taper relief, it would stimulate a currently stagnating property market and help create the same kind of healthy and developed private rented sector as they have on the continent.”

• The Residential Landlords Association is a leading national organisation with members owning over 100,000 properties in the UK’s professional private rented sector. The range of members’ services - on www.rla.org.uk - includes legal advice, insurance, financial services, credit referencing and training.

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