Does your agent understand the changes affecting Buy-to-Let?

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telegraph article

Here’s a well-researched article in the Telegraph by Olivia Rudgard, on the by now well-worn theme of impacts of the tax changes that will be in full effect by 2021. The especially useful point about this article is that it draws in the impacts of quite mild rises in the Bank’s base rate at the same time, which any sensible investor has to factor into the thinking.

So, looking at this with my landlord hat on, I was pretty disappointed to see the scant level of comment and regard paid to it from agents in the industry – barely any informed comment at all, yet this is the essence of being a buy-to-let landlord we are talking about here – we NEED smart agents discussing strategies, and also pointing landlords towards the petition site (barely half the number of landlords required have so far gone online to sign).

Here’s the one example of comment that I found, which sets the tone: Posted 11th January by “unnamed” agent

“ I wonder how many landlords actually understand this stamen by Rudgard:

“From 2017, landlords’ ability to deduct mortgage interest from rental income before working out a tax liability will be phased away. This will drag significantly on landlords’ ongoing returns, with some investors even paying tax where they have zero income or a loss”.

 You mention tax and many panic!”

For me, that is deeply unhelpful – I think landlords do know what is coming, but there’s a profound sense of helplessness in the face of Treasury and media assault on us. And if many do not know or understand the issues, it is incumbent on agents to advise, encourage, and facilitate, in whatever direction that takes us.

If your agent is treating you without sufficient support on this topic, just talk to Northwood in Leicester: the team can offer analysis of the issues you might be facing.

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