Autumn Statement should have little impact for buy-to-let investors

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A Financial Times article from November 2016 claims that measures laid out in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement are not likely to have much effect on buy-to-let investors.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has banned letting agents from charging fees for people looking for rental accommodation. Hammond wants landlords, not tenants, to pay any letting agency fees

Charging fees by letting agencies has been banned in Scotland since 2012. According to the Financial Times, this did not cause rents to rise and the availability of rented accommodation was unaffected.

Apart from banning letting agencies charging fees, the chancellor did not introduce any other changes that should affect buy-to-let landlords. Some industry experts wanted stamp duty reduction and changes to the new tax relief rules, but these remain unchanged.

The Executive Director of uMoove, Russell Quirk, said:

“Stamp duty is an archaic tax and one that the industry has been crying to be changed in a manner that benefits UK buyers.

“Rather than penalise struggling UK buyers the government needs to flip stamp duty on its head and make the seller accountable for paying it.”

Philip Hammond also announced that he is allocating £1.4bn to build 40,000 affordable new homes. This could help some tenants move from rented accommodation and buy their first home, but this is unlikely to significantly decrease the demand for rented accommodation.

Interest rates on commercial mortgages remain low and should not be affected by the Autumn Statement.

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