Later today, George Osborne will make his latest budget speech, in which it is expected he will confirm the details of the 3% stamp duty surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let properties. Landlords in the private rented sector are bracing themselves for the worst, with two-thirds of landlords predicting more bumps in the road as a result of the budget (according to research by The House Crowd).
While the majority of those surveyed agreed that tighter regulation from the Bank of England to drive rogue landlords out of the sector would be best for business, almost half expressed concern that the government is actively trying to squeeze out the small investors in buy-to-let property.
Mortgage lender Paragon has now called for the Chancellor to halt any further plans for tax changes. They argue that the reduction in social housing, combined with the difficulty in getting a foot on the property ladder, makes the private rented sector a vital alternative. Tax changes which are detrimental to landlords will negatively effect tenants also.
Although there is a high degree of pessimism in the air, 60% of landlords believe that buy-to-let will remain one of the strongest investment options available, given that the housing shortage will not be solved overnight.