Landlords are angry at new legislation – the so called Tenant Tax – which threatens to turn the costs involved in owning and running rental properties from a normal business expense into taxable revenue. Steve Bolton, founder and chairman of Platinum Property Partners, and fellow landlord Chris Cooper, have launched a crowd funding appeal to raise enough money to mount a legal challenge in the courts against the government to try and abolish the ‘Tenant Tax’ (section 24 of the Finance (No.2) Act 2015. They call the legislation “ludicrous” as they believe it won’t only result in substantial losses for landlords, it will also result in greater increases in rents for affordable homes, leading to a greater number of people being made homeless.
Their argument is that the new Finance Act overturns the fundamental financial business principle “that expenses incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the business are deductible when calculating the taxable profits”.
They’re also angry that the government is putting a lot of the blame for the current housing difficulties on to BTL landlords. As Bolton commented: “No landlord wants a boom and bust housing market. Nor do they want to keep any hard-working person who wants to and can afford to buy their own home from stepping onto the property ladder. However, blaming buy-to-let landlords for these issues is not only a huge distortion of the truth, it conveniently hides the fact that successive governments have failed us on the vital issue of housing. Over one million homes that needed to be built over the last decade (by the Government’s own figures) have not been built.”
As a result, Bolton and Cooper set up CrowdJustice earlier this year to help raise enough financial backing to enable them to challenge the changes to buy-to-let mortgage interest tax relief. They lodged an application for a Judicial Review in February which was made possible because of £50,000 in donations from 737 campaign supporters, and are currently waiting to hear whether or not they have permission to proceed to a full Judicial Review hearing.
Ultimately they believe the legal challenge will cost £250,000, and they could not make it happen without financial help. They have just launched a further fund raising bid to raise another £50,000 for the next stage of the process.
The pair have also organised a Tenant Tax Summit in London on 9th June to give everyone in the private rental sector the chance to take action. They explained that, “Without warning or consultation, we are now witnessing a devastating and relentless shock and awe campaign of betrayal of landlords by Government”.
Click here for more details and to donate to the CrowdJustice Tenant Tax campaign.
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