BTL landlords could be forced out of business

Worries that the tax crackdown on landlords announced in the recent Budget have been proven with a new survey which reveals that one in five landlords believe they will be put out of business within the next two years.

The findings come from specialist landlord law firm, Access Legal, who say that their research shows the loss of higher rate tax relief is a financial burden too far for many landlords. The move was announced by the Chancellor George Osborne which means that all landlords can only claim tax relief at the lower rate.

The firm says that landlords in the UK lose nearly £10 billion in damage and rent arrears every year and the proposed cuts to tax breaks will put many out of business.

Around a third of landlords believe the law is on the side of tenants with nearly half of those renting not able to pay rent arrears even after they have been taken to court to recover the loss.

Landlords also complain about ‘extortionate’ up-keeping costs and 75% of those who have invested in buy to let do not believe they can save money with a letting agent.

Half of BTL landlords have stopped using a letting agent

 
Indeed, according to the research, nearly half of BTL landlords have stopped using a letting agent to save cash and avoid safety issues.
More worryingly, for the government, 90% of landlords do not believe that they should be responsible for carrying out immigration checks under the government’s Right to Rent proposals.

Eamonn Hogan from Access Legal said: “We work with landlords covering landlord and tenant disputes and the extortionate cost that comes with being a landlord is a figure that just keeps on growing.

“Many landlords are subject to rent arrears and damage to properties and though the law doesn’t always take the side of tenants, it’s a difficult process for landlords to go through in a tricky legal system.”

Gas Safe links up with ARLA

 
Meanwhile, it has been announced that Gas Safe has linked up with the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) in a bid to drive up standards.

In a joint initiative, the organisations will highlight gas safety messages to landlords as well as tenants and consumers in the private rental sector.
The new activity will take place in the next few months and they hope the move will underline their positions as trusted sources of information for tenants and landlords.

David Cox, Arla’s managing director, said: “It’s vital that landlords and agents, who are responsible legally for their tenants, ensure annual safety checks and maintenance are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer on all gas appliances.”

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