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Private Rented Housing

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 73743, tabled on 12 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the impact of buy-to-let policy changes on the effectiveness of that sector since 2010.

Answered on

22 November 2021

Since 2010, there have been a number of policy changes affecting private landlords. These include tax changes for buy-to-let landlords, changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), tightening lending criteria on buy-to-let mortgages and the growing role of the build-to-rent sector.

These changes were made as part of the Government's commitment to support first time buyers and wider efforts to make the housing market work for everyone. While it is right that people should be free to purchase a second house or invest in a buy-to-let property, the Government is aware that this can affect other people's ability to get on to the property ladder.

In April 2016, the Government introduced higher rates of SDLT for those purchasing additional properties. The higher rates are three percentage points above the standard SDLT rates and are part of the government's commitment to support first time buyers and ensure an efficient use of housing.

The tax relief on finance costs for landlords is restricted to the basic rate of income tax. This restriction was introduced in 2017 and phased in over four years. We estimate that only 1 in 10 landlords are affected by this change.

The Private Rented Sector remains an important part of the housing market, with 4.4 million households currently in the Private Rented Sector. According to the English Private Landlord Survey (2018) over half (55%) of landlords had a buy-to-let mortgage, representing 61% of tenancies, indicating that buy-to-let landlords continue to invest. Almost two thirds (63%) of those who had been a landlord for three years or less had used a mortgage to fund their first rental property and about half (49%) of those who had been a landlord for three years or less had a buy-to-let mortgage.