I READ today that the Residential Landlord Association is taking legal advice on whether Chancellor George Osborne can enforce the taxation on turnover proposed for mortgaged landlords.
The RLA is looking to see if the tax breaches the Human Rights Act and European Union Law on free movement of capital.
I applaud them for this move but it beggars belief that such an influential and prolific landlord organisation has taken six months to act. It’s no surprise that their action comes after two private landlords – Chris Cooper and Steve Bolton – have successfully crowdfunded a separate judicial review that is grabbing headlines. That action has many landlords wondering where the RLA has been in the argument and why no action taken.
Why so late to the party?
The RLA has money and influence yet it takes two private landlords to shame them into action. I think that is wrong but at least they are now in the fight, if begrudgingly and hanging around the back of the room ready to run off at the first sign of a bloody nose.
The fact is we need the RLA to get behind this fight for the good of all landlords and tenants. The arguments that the tax is wrong and will result in evictions, lower rental stock availability and financially ruined landlords will have a massively detrimental effect on the RLA as well. Members will disappear and its own influence will wane as well.
But leaving aside the late to the party attitude, let’s hope this is a turning point with a second body looking at the legalities of the proposed new tax and questioning it. We need them to do more – we need them to actually take action as well. Hit the Government from as many angles as possible.
Good news from Cooper and Bolton
I also read that the judicial review being sought by Cooper and Bolton has been deemed as having a ‘reasonable chance of success’ and that is progressing. That excites me. We need to overturn this injustice and protect landlords, tenants and homeowners alike.
There is plenty of anger out there and no one with a sane mind has said the tax is fair or sensible. I admire Property Tribes, The Property Hub and Property 118 for the good work they are doing supporting landlords and allowing debate on the subject. They are critical to the success of any legal challenge.
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