Financial News

Tax And Rule Changes Start To Bite Buy To Let

The number of landlords taking out buy to let mortgages has plunged by nearly 10% in a year, according to data from lenders.

UK Finance, the trade body for buy to let lenders, has disclosed 5,000 loans were completed in March – up 200 from 4,800 in February but a 9.1% decline year-on-year.

The February figure reflected a 7.7% drop in new mortgage completions over 12 months, too.

Remortgages levels remained the same for February and March at 14,400 deals – a 3.9% annual increase which was slightly up on February’s 2.1% year-on-year rise.

“While buy-to-let house purchase activity continues to contract due to tax and regulatory changes, buy-to-let remortgaging has increased year-on year for the second month in a row,” said a UK Finance spokesman.

New tenant fee ban date set

Expat landlords renting out homes in Wales will come under a tenant fees ban starting from September 1.

The ban is based on where the property is located regardless of where the landlord lives and follows a similar ban in England starting June 1.

The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act are for:

  • Rent
  • Security deposits
  • Holding deposits capped at a week’s rent
  • Default fees under a tenancy agreement, ie for late rent
  • Utilities
  • Council Tax
  • Television licence
  • Telephone and broadband

Welsh Government Housing Minister Julie James said: “The private rented sector now accounts for 13% of all housing in Wales. This legislation brings clarity which will help to improve the reputation of the sector overall, and provide greater confidence that tenants are getting a fair deal.”

Tenants exercise right to pay for a gym

Tenants are willing to pay more to landlords providing them with extras, says a new survey.

The feature most coveted by private renters is gym access where they live.

Half told lifestyle company Faraway Furniture they would willingly pay £16 a month more rent for fitness facilities.

Next most popular was laundry facilities at £12 a month for 43% of tenants.

Outdoor space was important to many, including a garden, with 42% of tenants eager to pay an extra £14 a month or a roof terrace, popular with 36% offering the same 314 a month extra on  top of their rent.

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