A group of wealthy landlord property investors are refusing to take George Osborne’s tax changes lying down. Instead they have taken legal advice and are plotting to launch a legal challenge against proposed tax changes.
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A Judicial Review The group’s argument is that the tax changes are politically motivated and a breach of human rights legislation. They are requesting a judicial review of the proposed changes in the hope that the government will be forced to do a U-turn.
“The plight of first time buyers is one we understand. But it is wrong to put the blame on leveraged buy-to-let landlords with mortgages. Cash buyers are not affected. What the government is doing is victimising one group of individuals who have mortgages,” says Steve Bolton, the landlord at the helm of the legal challenge.
“Landlords are being demonised when the fundamental problem is that the government has not created enough new homes,” says Bolton. “Not only is this tax grab unfair, undemocratic and underhanded, but we believe that it could also be unlawful.”
Not surprisingly, tenant groups disagree with Bolton’s point of view.
“The reduction in tax relief available on buy-to-let mortgage interest is welcome, as not only is this an unfair tax perk that is unavailable to ordinary homeowners, but it also encourages landlords to pump more mortgage debt into the housing market,” claims a spokesperson from pressure group Priced Out.
Landlords Don’t Have an Advantage However, landlord groups argue that landlords don’t have a massive advantage and even the Institute of Chartered Accountants has been critical of the chancellor’s tax proposals.