Weekly landlord news digest: Issue 19

News moves quickly in the property industry and as a busy landlord it is important to keep up to date with changes that could impact on you and your property. Hamilton Fraser’s weekly news digest aims to bring the important news straight to you!

In this week’s edition, we investigate the drop in landlords seeking buy to let mortgages, how changes to stamp duty may influence expat couples, and what tenants are willing to pay more for in their rental property. In addition, we take a look at how Croydon Council has helped homeless families, the date set for the Welsh tenant fees ban and whether landlords are ready to quit over changes to eviction laws.

Fewer landlords seeking buy to let mortgages

Fewer property investors are purchasing new buy to let properties, suggests the latest data from mortgage lenders.

Lenders completed 5,000 new mortgages in March – a 9.1 per cent drop compared with the same month a year ago, says UK Finance, the trade body for banks, building societies and finance houses.

Although the number of completions was up on February’s 4,800, that was a 7.7 per cent fall year-on-year.

The buy to let remortgage market was healthier, with 14,400 loans – the same as February and a 3.9 per cent increase on a year ago, building on February’s 2.1 per cent annual 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,”

–  UK Finance spokesman

Stamp duty change unfair to expat couples, argue experts

New stamp duty rules for non-residents are unfair on expat couples, argue tax experts. The government announced a 1 per cent surcharge aimed at penalising non-residents buying homes in England and Northern Ireland, but tax experts claim the new measure will have unintended financial consequences for expat couples.

The rules – which have no start date – will impact couples where one partner lives in England or Northern Ireland and the other works overseas.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) have both criticised the surcharge and urged the government to stop tinkering with already complicated stamp duty rules.

The proposed change will not apply to Scotland or Wales as both nations have their own stamp duty regulations.