High Court dismisses Tenant Tax review

Landlords have been refused permission to challenge proposed changes to the taxation of income from buy-to-let properties – the so-called Tenant Tax.

Landlords’ campaign group Axe the Tenant Tax, led by co-claimants Steve Bolton olf Platinum Property Partners, and landlord Chris Cooper, submitted at London’s High Court that the changes would be both ‘unfair and unlawful’, and that the case should go to a full judicial review hearing – however, Mr Justice Dingemans ruled the challenge ‘arguable’ and dismissed it.

Cherie Blair QC, who represented claimaints, said that landlords face challenging times ahead, in light of the ‘very disappointing’ result.

The changes, which are due to come into force in 2017, would stop landlords being able to claim buy-to-let costs – largely mortgage interest payments – as a business expense. Landlords leading the campaign have vowed to continue to take their case to the Government.

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer at the National Landlords Association (NLA) said:

“This decision is ultimately disappointing not just for landlords, but for the tenants who will see their rents rise as a consequence of the changes to landlord taxation.

“While we have never been convinced that there was a solid enough legal case to overturn George Osborne’s decision, we hoped the Courts would be prepared at least to listen to the arguments.

“We congratulate Steve, Chris and the campaign team on their determination, perseverance, and their success in raising awareness and increasing the visibility and understanding of what will be a dramatic change to the ability of hard working people to provide homes for others.

“This issue has been the focus of the NLA’s lobbying for the past 15 months and, as the UK’s largest representative body for landlords, we are still committed to changing this damaging policy through political engagement and lobbying. We urge all landlords to join us in this fight.”

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BDC 309 : Oct 2023