Do landlords get "unfair" special treatment?

Landlords are “unfairly” receiving tax breaks and should be treated less favourably in the tax system.

This is according to a new report from the Intergenerational Foundation, which suggests that landlords claim tax deductible costs of £13 billion every year, costing the average taxpayer as much as £5 billion.

The Foundation claims that landlords receive “special treatment” because, like other small businesses, they are allowed to claim certain reliefs. The report particularly cites mortgage interest relief, and an allowance of 10 per cent of annual rental income for depreciation through wear and tear.

The report alleges that landlords are “much less useful to the economy” than small businesses, and that they “derive their income from gambling on house price rises.”

Rents hit new record highs of £758 in October, a 1.2% increase over the preceding 12 months. Meanwhile estate agent Knight Frank predicts that house prices will rise by 7 per cent next year, and by a further 5 per cent in 2014.

The Intergenerational Foundation report claims: “As a tenant or a homeowner it is impossible to read this paper and not feel pangs of jealousy for the tax advantages available to buy-to-let landlords. No fair-minded housing analyst can help but throw their hands up in despair.”

What do you think? Do landlords get unfair treatment? Are they “less useful to the economy” than other small businesses? Let us know in the comments.

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