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How Landlords Are Affected By 2015 Pre-Election Budget

How Landlords Are Affected By 2015 Pre-Election Budget

How Landlords Are Affected By 2015 Pre-Election Budget

During the pre-election budget last week, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP announced some significant changes that could have a detrimental impact on landlords the UK’s private rental sector (PRS) and residential property owners.

Below are the highlights of the pre-election budget that are of relevance to landlords and property owners:

  • £13 Billion (GBP) sale announced of the mortgages of UKAR – Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley (Mortgage Express) to reduce national debt which followed the bailing out of the banks.
  • Introduction of 20 new housing zones.
  • The economy of the North grew faster than the South during 2014.
  • The UK has the highest rate of employment in its history!
    Employment is growing fastest in the North West, Yorkshire having the biggest employment.
  • Living standards are higher in 2015 than 2010.
  • Inflation forecast downgraded to 0.2%.
  • Low interest rates to be “locked in”.
  • Original target of debt reduction set in 2010 budget has been met.
  • 13 years of rising national debt has now been stopped.
  • UK achieved the largest and most sustained debt reduction of any major economy according to the IMF.
  • Government borrowing is falling.
  • The wealthy are making the biggest contributions to reduce debt.
  • End of austerity in 2019.
  • The annual tax return is to be abolished. New digital tax accounts to be created.
  • The personal tax free allowance has been raised to £10,600 (GBP) and will be raised to £11,000 (GBP) in 2017.
  • The higher rate tax threshold will rise to £43,300 (GBP) by 2018.
  • Class 2 national insurance contributions abolished for self-employed.
  • Stronger measures against tax avoidance and tax evasion.
  • Review of avoidance of inheritance tax through deeds of variation.
  • New penalties for tax evasion and those professionals who assist them.
  • Crime down 20%.

There was some good news contained in the 2015 pre-election budget too:

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Mortgage Market Review Already Causing Delays For Borrowers

Mortgage Market Review Already Causing Delays For Borrowers

Mortgage Market Review Already Causing Delays For Borrowers

Would be residential property buyers are dismayed about the change of the rules on residential mortgages, with strict lending criteria tightened following the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR).

Since 26th April 2014, mortgage lenders have been required to carry out much more detailed checks of a borrower’s financial situation to be sure that they can truly afford to purchase and continue to afford the property, both now and in the future.

The introduction of the MMR is supposed to help regulate the residential property purchase market and does not yet apply to buy to let mortgages, but that could happen in time.

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Flood Insurance Plan Leaves Rental Properties Unprotected

Flood Insurance Plan Leaves Rental Properties Unprotected

New Flood Insurance Plan Leaves Private Rental Sector Properties Unprotected

The ill timed Government announcement over the changes to flood insurance does little to reassure property owners and landlords about flood insurance price rises as huge swathes of the country remain flooded after the winter storms.

The Government has finally reached a deal with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to replace the ‘Statement of Principles’ agreement of the Water Bill, that was originally due to expire on 31st July 2013, under which insurers offered affordable flood insurance coverage to a majority of households in return for the Government maintaining spending on UK flood defences.

The British Property Federation (BPF) reported that an alliance of property industry leaders and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) had huge concerns about the new plan, called Flood Re.

A number of organisations have already called for urgent amendments to the Water Bill, after it emerged that a significant number of properties that had been expected to be included within Flood Re, would instead be excluded.

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Discretionary Payments Scandal

Discretionary Payments Scandal

70% Of Local Authorities Spend Less Than Half  Of Discretionary Payment Pots

Official Government figures suggest that 70% of UK local Authorities are committed to pay out less than half their emergency hardship fund or discretionary housing payments pots by the midpoint of the current financial year.

The figures were confirmed following further research by Inside Housing published in November, which found many local authorities were on course to hand back millions of unspent discretionary housing payment funds in April 2014.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures, released on Friday 20th December 2013, show one in six local authorities have committed to pay out less than a quarter of their DHP pots.

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Property industry reaction to 2013 budget

Property industry reaction to 2013 budget

George Osborne’s spring 2013 budget included new measures to help more people purchase their own homes and this news has been generally welcomed by property industry professionals.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer firmly believes that the measures announced in the spring budget will provide a major boost for the UK economy, despite calls for an economic U-turn from the Labour opposition.

Mr Osborne told the press that there were far more difficult decisions still to be made regarding the nation’s spending in order to get the overall deficit down, however, the government are taking measures to help people buy their own home.

The Chancellor announced that the FirstBuy scheme which was aimed at First-Time Buyers (FTB) on an income of up to £60,000 (GBP) per year, is being replaced with a ‘Help to Buy’ equity loan scheme available to all buyers looking to purchase a new build home up to a value of £600,000 (GBP), with a deposit of just 5%.

A new mortgage guarantee scheme was also announced during the spring budget, which extends the previous NewBuy Guarantee initiative to include older residential properties as well as new-build homes, which he hopes will result in a sharp rise in lending to potential homebuyers, thus kick starting an upturn in the UK property market. The new scheme will start in January 2014.

Buy to let mortgages are not going to be included under the new scheme, however it remains unclear if existing property owners will be able to purchase property without selling leaving them with an income producing property asset when they offer their old home for rental.

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