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Chancellor George Osborne has announced a 3 per cent premium on stamp duty for buy-to-let investors and those buying second homes, aimed at raising £1bn by 2021.


As part of his Autumn Statement and Spending Review, Mr Osborne explained the new measures were to tackle the issue of second homes bought by those who live overseas and will be introduced from 1 April 2016.

He added the government will consult on the details so that corporate property development is not affected.

Mr Osborne complained that many buy-to-let deals are cash purchases that are not affected by the restrictions introduced in the Budget on mortgage interest relief and many of them are bought by those who are not resident in this country.

“Frankly, people buying a home to let should not be squeezing out families who can’t afford a home to buy,” he added.

Money raised from tax on people buying their second home will be used to help those struggling to buy their first home.

The chancellor also announced a new London Help-to-Buy scheme - with Londoners with a 5 per cent deposit able to get an interest-free loan worth up to 40 per cent of the value of a new home - attributing the policy to Conservative London mayoral hopeful Zac Goldsmith’s campaigning.

Currently, if you are able to pay at least 5 per cent the value of your home as a deposit, the government will lend you up to 20 per cent of the rest of the value of the property, alongside your mortgage of up to 75 per cent.

Equity Loan will be now available until 2021, and to reflect the current property market in London, from early 2016 the government will increase the upper limit for the equity loan it gives new buyers within Greater London from 20 to 40 per cent.

Continuing with his five point housing plan, Mr Osborne promised the biggest housebuilding programme since the 1970s, doubling the housing budget to £2bn a year in order to build over 400,000 affordable homes.

It will include £2.3bn paid to developers to build starter homes for first-time buyers, who will get a 20 per cent discount on property worth up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 outside the capital.

Mr Osborne stated: “135,000 will be our brand new Help to Buy: Shared Ownership which we announce today. We’ll remove many of the restrictions on shared ownership – who can buy them, who can build them and who they can be sold on to.”

In addition, £4bn will be spent on 135,000 Help to Buy shared ownership homes for households earning less than £80,000 - or less than £90,000 in London.

The government will also put £200m towards 10,000 new homes for people to live in for up to five years at reduced rents while they save for a deposit, before having the “first right” to buy the home.

Sara in the office is running  Cheltenham's Half Marathon.

We wish her the very best of luck. She is raising donations for Youth @ Heart

See Just Giving web site:-




The governement has updated it's letting guide for Tennants and Lanlords.

This is especially important now that new legislative changes come into force from the 1st October 2015.

Tennants and Landlords should review the guide.



The new Smoke and CO Alarm (England) Regulations have now been approved.

From the 14 September 2015 parliament approved the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, giving a short time for landlords to comply in time for 1st Oct deadline.

As from 1st October 2015 all landlords in England will be required to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and test them at the start of every tenancy.

Landlords also need to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.  Landlords will be subject to fines of up to £5,000 for non-compliance.

The National Landlords’ Association (NLA) supported these new regulations but criticised the Government for the time taken in passing the regulations, now giving only a short time to comply and causing  confusion in the industry.

You can find guidance on the regulations on the following links:




Changes to Landlord Tax Relief - Budget 2015

The Chancellor announced in the newly elected Government's first Summer Budget (July 2015) that Mortgage Interest Relief for residential landlords would be restricted to the basic rate of income tax (20%).

How does this affect me as a Landlord?

Mortgage Interest Relief

Under the current rules the full amount of finance costs paid by Landlords are allowed as deduction against rental income.

The new rules will be introduced gradually over a three year period starting from 6 April 2017, and relief will be available as follows:


  • In 2017/18, the deduction from property income will be restricted to 75% of the finance costs incurred, with the remaining 25% being available as a basic rate reduction.
  • In 2018/19, 50% of the finance costs will be given as deduction and the remaining 50% will be given as a basic rate reduction.
  • In 2019/20, 25% of the finance costs will be given as deduction and the remaining 75% will be given as a basic rate reduction.
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