May 16

Has the Queen’s Speech given landlords a break from government scrutiny?

The agenda for the next parliamentary session has been set out in the Queen’s Speech and there is plenty for landlords to consider. Many will be hoping for a break from government crackdowns on the buy-to-let sector having already faced increased stamp duty and preparing for the scaling back of mortgage interest relief. Recent changes have made many landlords consider selling up and worry about what else the government could do to hit their portfolio. But instead, many could actually benefit from the next round of legislation being proposed by spotting opportunities for snapping up property benefiting from new laws.

The northern powerhouse
The speech mentioned one of the government’s favourite catchphrases, the northern powerhouse. Over the next parliamentary season, the government has vowed to open up investment opportunities to international investors including promoting over £24 billion worth of opportunities in the north to Chinese investors and boosting enterprise zones in the North.

Increased investment could be a boost for landlords and lettings agents looking to build buy-to-let portfolios and get in early to secure decent rental yields. According to buy-to-let loan platform LendInvest, Manchester is among the best places in the UK for yields with returns at 6.8 per cent during 2015.

Neighbourhood and infrastructure bill

The Neighbourhood and infrastructure bill aims to fulfil government pledges to build one million more homes. This could help landlords planning to add to their portfolio, but there could be issues for those with property in the way of big public sector developments. The government is tightening rules on compulsory purchase.

This could hit landlords who have property in the way of a big development such as Crossrail. But it is good for developers who may find it easier to beat opposition to planning permission. Owners of properties which are, for example, needed to make way for infrastructure or new housing estates will receive the market value of their properties as of now, rather than what they would be worth if there was an obstruction or loud high speed railway line.

The government is also set to unveil a £3 billion Home Building Fund focusing on supporting smaller developments and long term loans to build a pipeline of 160,000 to 200,000 homes.

In addition, landlords could benefit from a new wave of garden cities and communities that the government is looking to support building in Bicester, Basingstoke, Didcot, Ebbsfleet, North Essex and North Northamptonshire. Together, these have the potential to deliver over 100,000 homes with strong communities at their heart.

About the author

Chris Conway Photograph  Chris Conway is the Managing Director at Accounts and Legal, who specialise in providing accounting services, taxation and business advice to individuals and small businesses owners. Founded only three years ago, its philosophy has been to deliver an accounting service which offers more than just statutory compliance, by helping interpret technical accounting and taxation topics in a way that is digestible and useful.

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