Rethink needed on stamp duty

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Lettings agent Chinneck Shaw has called for a rethink about proposed stamp duty hikes on second homes before final details are announced in this month’s Budget.

The Portsmouth-based company wants the government to listen to industry concerns raised about the introduction of higher rates of three per cent of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on purchases of additional residential properties.

Chinneck Shaw, which is a member of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), echoed concerns felt by the industry as a whole and its landlords in the area.

Director Neil Shaw said: ‘We welcome the government’s commitment to supporting affordable housing and home ownership.

‘However, the SDLT proposals could prove counterproductive. The changes will deter new landlords from entering the market and make becoming a landlord much less financially viable.

‘Far from helping first-time buyers into their dream home, the SDLT could keep first them in rented accommodation for longer and at more expense, further widening the affordability gap.

‘Others who could feel an impact include parents trying to help their children on to the first rung of the property ladder by acting as guarantors on mortgages.’

He added: ‘We support the concerns shown by our landlords, ARLA and by the wider private rented sector in urging the government to seriously consider this impact of this tax before the Budget.’

Estate and lettings agency Chinneck Shaw has offices in Tangier Road and Milton Road, Portsmouth.

Neil’s comments come after the government held a consultation exercise to gauge the impact of its proposals, aimed at helping first time buyers and boosting affordable housing.

The new rate is due to come into force on April 1 after final details are announced in the Budget on March 16.

Earlier this month, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported a surge in numbers of buy-to-let transactions as buyers tried to complete deals before April 1.

It said in its latest UK Residential Market Survey that some existing landlords may look to gradually scale back their portfolios or leave the market.

Chinneck Shaw covers an area reaching out in a 25-mile radius from Southampton to Petersfield and Chichester.

The firm is a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

n Visit chinneckshaw.co.uk, call (023) 9282 6731 or e-mail info@chinneckshaw.co.uk for more details.