What Labour's stamp duty 'holiday' really means
The latest announcement from Labour is that first-time buyers will be given a ‘holiday’ on stamp duty for homes purchased under £300,000. With the average house price in London standing at over £460,000 it is clear this policy will only be applicable outside of the capital.Read more
We need a Robin Hood Tax for renters
It's great that Labour is looking at cutting tax breaks for bad private sector landlords, but they should be targeting them all.Read more
The Government's record on private renting
As Parliament dissolves today and purdah begins, we’ve taken a look at everything the Government has, and hasn’t, done for renters.Read more
The reality of Labour's housing policy
Labour has carefully crafted an identity this election as the party of housing. But if you look at the details, what they’re proposing is terrifying for the average person.
By Lindsey Garrett of the New Era EstateRead more
What Natalie Bennett should have said
It was hard yesterday not to have some sympathy with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett after that painful interview. But coming unstuck on the numbers or not, it highlighted the point that they are the only party with a shot of winning seats (in England at least) that actually has a target for building significant numbers of social homes and which has identified private sector landlords as the ideal source for funding this.Read more
Rent Freedom Day - videos now up
If you couldn't make it to Rent Freedom Day, we have the next best thing - video of two of the biggest events on the schedule: the opening speech from journalist, author and fresh-faced firebrand Owen Jones (20 mins), and the National Renters Hustings (1h15m).
MPs from four main parties came together for the first time in the real world to debate renting and face questions from the public. Conservative Mark Pawsey, Labour's Emma Reynolds, Lib Dem Minister Stephen Williams and the Greens' Caroline Lucas all bravely faced an audience that has long been overlooked by politicians and wants answers. UKIP was invited but didn't send anyone.Read more
Making money like a landlord
Inspired by Savills' findings on landlord capital gains last month, we decided to look at just what sort of money landlords in the UK are making – and how much we the taxpayer are helping them.
As reported in the Guardian this morning, UK landlords make £77.7bn each year in rent and capital gains. This is more than Morocco’s GDP of £68.6bn (for a country of 33m people), making the industry the 61st largest economy in the world (UN 2013).
They are also subsidised to the tune of £26.7bn in tax breaks and housing benefit. That is higher than the £25bn of cuts that George Osborne claims are needed after the election. It is also more than our spending on the overseas aid budget of £10.3bn, job seekers allowance of £4.34bn, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s entire budget of £6.14bn, and the £1.13bn Affordable Homes Programme put together.
The cost of landlord subsidies to Britons is £1011 per household. That is the cost of a week’s holiday for four in Majorca, a 55” HD TV, or a Boardman Road Team Carbon bike.
Time for a landlord tax
In an age of austerity landlords have made £177 billion in capital gain alone over the past five years. On top of this they have received £30-40 billion in rent a year, including about £9 billion a year in Housing Benefit.Read more
Taxing times for private landlords?
The Let Property Campaign, HMRC’s initiative on tax in the private rented sector, is stepping up its work to ensure private landlords pay the full tax on their rental income.Read more