2017 Spring Budget: what landlords need to know

In a quiet Spring Budget for landlords, Chancellor Philip Hammond missed the last opportunity to reverse George Osborne’s tax changes.

Silence speaks volumes, and this was certainly the case during Hammond’s Budget announcement. His failure to address any of the widely-criticised tax changes will be the biggest talking point for UK landlords.

In fact, it was near-radio silence on property in general, with just one mention of ‘housing’ throughout the entire announcement.

It’s not what Hammond did say, but what he didn’t.

In what was a generally disappointing Budget for those who let property, there was also no cash commitment to the building of more houses or the easing of pressure on the private rental sector.

Chancellor misses last chance to reverse changes

Many were labelling the Spring Budget as the last opportunity for Hammond to backtrack on the buy-to-let changes put forward by his predecessor.

But Hammond ignored the chance, deciding instead to focus attention elsewhere.

Residential Landlords Association chairman reflected the mood of many of the UK’s landlords: “This budget was a missed opportunity by Philip Hammond to right some of the wrongs of his predecessor.

“Those of us out there hoping for a u-turn on controversial policies such as mortgage interest relief changes were left disappointed by a budget that essentially ignored the housing crisis entirely.

“Growth and demand in the market will ultimately decide on the rent we can charge – but none of us can afford to run at a loss, and I believe that government will eventually realise the bargain it gets from private landlords.

“This is not the end. We will continue to campaign against unfair taxation. MIR changes were reversed in Ireland years after their introduction so we will not be giving up the fight and I will be continuing to send that message to Mr Hammond and his successors.”

No action on SDLT

Some of the loudest calls were made for the Chancellor to cut the higher rate of stamp duty land tax in his Budget, but he isn’t taking any action for the time being.

He did, however, offer a glimmer of hope to landlords. The Treasury have publicly announced their analysis on the effects of SDLT on both transaction levels and revenue, and Hammond hasn’t ruled out possible revisions later in the year.

Attempts to control incorporated landlords

As more and more landlords turn to setting up a limited company for buy-to-let, the Government have made moves to control the trend.

The dividend rate tax allowance will reduce from £5000 to £2000 per person in 2018, meaning that the basic rate tax-payer will be £225 worse off each year.

Higher rate tax-payers will pay an extra £975 a year, while additional rate tax-payers with annual taxable earnings over £150,000 will fork out £1,143 a year more.

What did you make of the 2017 Spring Budget? Let us know your thoughts below.

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