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Please find a summary update from Douglas Haig of the RLA following the Tenant Tax coalition meeting last week.Other updates will follow in due course...
The focus of recent RLA tax campaigning has been the budget. After publishing our 7 key ‘asks’, we then contacted our members, asking them to meet their MP, as the last chance to change the policy before its implementation in April.James Gray MP wrote an e-mail for members, stressing the importance and impact of meeting MPs face to face. We targeted marginals and the seats of key ministers. Some 600 members wrote to their MP and we are beginning to see replies – mostly parroting the Treasury line.Some, however, have been more forthcoming in their views, including the occasional Labour MP. Dame Rosie Winterton visited a member’s lettings business, with our Vice Chairman.
We also drafted a letter to the Chancellor, signed by 16 Conservative MPs and Peers, calling for a rethink of the policy or, at least, some mitigation.The Chancellor gave a detailed reply ahead of the budget, making clear there would be no shift in policy. We are currently gathering data to respond to the points raised in the Chancellor’s response. The MPs signed the letter on the understanding that it, and the reply, would not be made public.
In our meetings the Treasury has been quite clear that, until there is evidence that their assumptions are wrong, they will not entertain even minor mitigation.We continue to monitor the mood and actions of our members through regular survey work, although recent statistics, such as the downturn in rents in London and South East are not helping our arguments.We are also actively seeking media opportunities for both the association, and supportive MPs, to place opinion pieces and articles highlighting the damaging impact of s24, and anticipate coverage in the Times and Telegraph.
Shelter have commissioned Cambridge University to conduct research into landlord responses to all the recent tax changes, and this may lead to a softening of their position. Our policy manager has been interviewed as part of the research.
We continue to provide briefings to MPs and Peers on the issue, whenever there is relevant parliamentary business.Following the budget, we will continue to seek ways to maintain the profile of the campaign, as well as educating and supporting our membership through the implementation period.
Douglas HaigVice-Chairman and Director for WalesResidential Landlords Association
FOOTNOTE All coalition stakeholders are finding only a small number of their members are willing to meet with their MPs. This is the most valuable thing that you can do personally to fight the tenant tax.We are willing and able to provide coaching and support if you are nervous about doing this. Please visit our website resources section and email us if you need help...
TENANT TAX WEBSITEMeanwhile, this headline from Ireland shows the devastation S.24 caused over there:
Tax breaks for "accidental landlords" are in the pipeline in a bid to keep properties in the rental market and boost supply.
The Department of Finance has set out a range of possible tax reliefs which might be applied to encourage landlords to remain in, or to enter, the rental market.
More towns are also expected to be designated as rent pressure zones in the coming weeks amid growing concern about the rising cost of renting a home.Source article Heads up! Property Tribes will be running "Tenant Tax Awareness Week" from the 3rd April 2017, where we will be posting new content daily to help ramp up awareness of the campaign and highlight the disastrous consequences. Please tune in daily and share the content across the social web the week that Section 24 comes into effect!
SEE ALSO - New landlord instructions weakening say RICSUP NEXT - Government challenged on landlord tax claimsDON'T MISS - Tenant calls for Government to abandon Section 24NOW WATCH: