Changes had come thick and fast for landlords since our last edition. First, the housing market came to the fore in the government’s housing white paper in February, which recognised the need to stimulate housebuilding and loosen restrictive planning rules.
This was followed by a raft of pledges in each of the political parties’ manifestos ahead of the recent general election. The Conservatives promised to build 1.5 million homes by the end of 2022 while Labour committed to build 100,000 council and housing association homes a year.
The failure of either party to secure a majority questions whether these promises will be met with action, however we had at least seen a firm recognition of the scale of the housing crisis.
April saw changes to tax treatment of BTL mortgages introduced, raising costs for many landlords. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) first round of changes to mortgage underwriting took effect.