The Scottish Association of Landlords – which represents letting agents as well as landlords north of the border – has spoken out against tax changes hitting the buy to let sector in the UK as a whole and in Scotland.
SAL says that over the past year landlords across Scotland have faced significant changes to the way they are taxed, chiefly through measures introduced by the former Chancellor George Osborne.
These include the phasing out of higher rate mortgage interest tax relief between 2017 and 2020, the exemption of residential property from a cut in Capital Gains Tax from 28 per cent to 20 per cent, and the replacement of the ‘wear and tear’ allowance with claims restricted to off-setting only actual costs incurred on replacing furnishings, appliances and kitchenware in a rented property.
“Alongside these, the Scottish Government has introduced a three per cent levy on the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) for those buying additional properties, including ones to rent” says a SAL statement.
Now the association says that with new Chancellor Philip Hammond due to deliver his Autumn Statement later in the year there is an opportunity to appeal to him to reverse or amend the more difficult parts of these changes.
SAL says it is joining forces to lobby for this with the Residential Landlords Association south of the border.
It is appealing to landlords and agents for evidence of how the measures may hurt the private rental sector. It also wants its members to meet their local MPs to urge changes to the proposals.
“Tell them how the changes are likely to affect tenants – that is, how [they] will affect the supply of affordable homes making it more difficult for tenants to find a home, and/or how it will lead to higher rents. Urge them to write to the UK Chancellor and the Finance Minister in the Scottish Government in support of a rethink” says s statement from SAL.