Housing minister denies Government is trying to kill off buy-to-let

Housing minister Brandon Lewis has rejected claims that the Government is “choking off the buy-to-let sector”.

Responding to claims from ex-Tory MP turned TV personality Michael Portillo during the Association of Residential Lettings Agents conference, Lewis said the Government’s intention was to create a more professional private rental sector and eliminate rogue landlords.

Landlords have been hit by extra Stamp Duty costs, the end of the ‘wear and tear’ allowance and the impending scaling back of mortgage interest relief from April 2017.

But Lewis told delegates that the government still backed the private rented sector with schemes such as Build to Rent.

He said: “Our primary focus is increasing supply and home ownership.

“Most people – 86% – want to own their own home, but we also want a private rented sector. We want more institutional money and more professionally managed property.

“Buy-to-let is still an area with capital security and revenue returns so there is still an attractive revenue model.”

Lewis said schemes such as right to rent and fee disclosure rules would crack down on rogue landlords.

Addressing audience questions, he also said he would look at introducing electrical safety rules, as already enforced in Scotland.

He expressed interest when asked about making it easier to avoid court in tenant evictions by abolishing advice that they make themselves intentionally homeless by vacating.


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  1. Jacqueline Emmerson

    Are there really that many rogue landlords? or is this more about making sure large investors and big builders are being looked after as they are the ones who pay all the lobbying fees.

  2. kittygirl06

    schemes such as Build to Rent.

    These schemes are out of reach for the average buy to let landlord . It is crystal clear they want the small landlords out to get the institutionals in.

    ( removal of the biggest business cost to landlords by C24) will mean landlords if they wish to try and remain in the rental sector will have no choice but to increase rents.

    This is a back door tenant tax direct from the Torie government who are trying to dress it up has greedy landlords.  If this is allowed to happen then be very worried about other businesses having a cost removed.

    The rents will be pushed up which is exactly what the government want and know as this will create higher yeilds for the institutional investors.

    Perhaps you should dig a little deeper and see all the Tory donors who have some connections with the build to rent sector and all the help its getting from this government.

    This policy will result in the following

    Less competition so the institutions will charge a higher rent

    Less choice

    Lower income families and those on benefits where will they go?

    Less work for all the smaller trades institutionals will employ direct labour not necessary from the UK

    Highly likely less tax paid in this country it will be paid in a lower taxed country


  3. Eric Walker

    If you want to improve the rental market, build more homes and reform the ‘not fit for purpose’ Section 106 requirements which prevent development and deter banks from lending on schemes.

  4. Will

    Large institutional landlords as being push for by the Government will harm tenants as they will form quasi monopolies and will drive rents even higher.  You only need to look at the power utilities to see the results of such a model.

  5. Mark Connelly

    I agree 100% with every comment so far.

    Finally a government minister admits why the changes were made. “We want more institutional money” Everything else is window dressing.

    Also I do wish they would stop bleating on about cracking down on rogue landlords. None of the legislation they have brought in effects rogue landlords. By default they are rogue they don’t adhere to legislation.

    It merely serves to screw many thousands who were encouraged by this self same government to invest for their retirement and who chose BTL as the vehicle .

    Frankly they should be ashamed but as they are politicians duplicity is a job requirement.

    1. jad

      Here, Here …………… let’s start a new game…..  Crack doen on rogue M.P.’s  and the ones who have rather peculiar orientations !!!!


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