Citizens Advice wants stamp duty raised to 4% for buy-to-let purchases

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The Citizens Advice organisation has suggested that the stamp duty surcharge for buy-to-let property purchases should be raised from 3% to 4 %, and the extra money used for energy efficiency property improvements, says a LettingAgentToday.co.uk article from October 2016.

Raising the stamp duty to 4% on buy-to-let properties could raise around £200million per month, the organisation believes.

Citizens Advice claims that tenants in accommodation that is not energy efficient could be paying £1,000 more a year on energy bills than the average household.

It is estimated that over 300,000 rented properties in England have the lowest energy efficiency rating of F and G. Many properties are damp and do not have central heating or storage radiators. Citizens Advice say that many of the homes have inadequate or no insulation.

The government has said that all existing rented properties must have an energy efficient rating of at least Band E by 2020, and all new tenancies must meet band E standards by 2018. Citizens Advice has recommended that landlords should pay for improvements that cost less than £5,000, with more costly improvements paid for from the stamp duty levy.

Though commercial mortgage rates are low, there have been a number of extra costs levied on buy-to-let landlords, and they will not welcome more costs. Last April, stamp duty was raised to 3%, and the tax relief on mortgage interest payments is being reduced. Landlords are hoping that the new chancellor Phillip Hammond will scrap these changes.

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