The Times reports that the group of investors, companies and associations running the ‘Better Renting for Britain’ campaign have written an open letter to housing minister Brandon Lewis calling for professional investors to be exempt from the 3% surcharge on buy-to-let properties.
Investors in ‘Built to Rent’ schemes were reportedly initially told that the new tax would not apply to companies or funds owning more than 15 residential properties.
In the letter, participants in the campaign say that the extra tax will reduce investment in the housing market and cut housing supply, saying it is “significantly damaging to impose this additional 3% levy on long term Build to Rent investors,” and says it could result in “many thousands of homes not being built.”
The letter is signed by Grainger, Britain’s largest listed residential landlord, which is investing £850m into the private rental sector (PRS).
Helen Gordon, chief executive of the FTSE 250 landlord, said: “We are looking to invest hundreds of millions of pounds into new rental homes, designed specifically for renting, which we will directly manage for many years to come. It is important that the government does all it can to allow us and companies like us to build more homes.”
Other signatories include LaSalle Investment Management, which plans to invest £500m in the next few years.
The letter is also signed by PRS operators including Essential Living and Fizzy Living.
The campaign launched last May when the Better Renting for Britain group wrote to the then ‘future British Government’ asking for a ‘real commitment to help our sector grow’.
It said homes for long term rent could be delivered ‘fast and soon’ but only with the right level of unequivocal support.