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Landlords accused of ‘making up stories’ in drive to change UK tax rules

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Private landlords have been accused of “making up stories” about the state of the rented sector in an attempt to persuade the government to scrap UK tax measures forecast to cost them close to £1bn a year.The allegation came after it emerged a lobbyist for private landlords in England and Wales, who has argued the tax rules have forced them to sell up in an “exodus”, said to allies it was “not terribly helpful” to have to acknowledge that the sector was actually increasing in size.In a lobbying campaign targeting politicians, press, the Bank of England and the government, Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), had in recent months warned “landlords are selling because of punitive taxation” and of “decimated” supply hitting tenants.

On Wednesday he met Michael Gove, the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, about planned rent changes.But Beadle this month told an industry webinar: “Actually the truth is that while some landlords are leaving the sector, this sector is actually still increasing.

That’s not terribly helpful to our argument to be honest with you. But in the context of cost of living and rising costs we have to tell that story and link the two.”Official figures support the notion the private rented sector is increasing in size.

Latest census data showed 5m households rented privately in England and Wales in 2021 – equivalent to one in five – up from 3.9m in 2011, and the number of private renting households rose in England by 177,000 from 2021 to 2022, accordion to the English Housing Survey.Beadle’s organisation wants restrictions on mortgage tax relief to be scrapped, arguing it would stop landlords quitting the market.

Read more on theguardian.com
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