On the 5th of November there were fireworks of a different sort at the National Landlord Investment Show in London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre. Less Tax 4 Landlords founding director Tony Gimple was joined on stage by Iain Duncan Smith (former leader of the Conservative Party), Andrew Neil (broadcaster and journalist), David Smith (Sunday Times economics editor and Property Notify columnist) and Gavin Fraser (managing director of High Street Residential) for a lively debate discussing all things Brexit, politics and how the outcome of the next UK general election will impact private landlords and the UK property market.
The first half of the debate focused on the election, with the seemingly right-leaning panel discussing the possible outcome and the challenges that each one presents. Also how each outcome impacts the Brexit position and its timetable.
Tony Gimple believes that with a Tory majority we will leave the EU and the country will get on and forget about Brexit and do what the UK is best at, which is being a free-trade zone, bringing the best into the UK and outputting the best. However, he went on to say that if it’s not an overall Tory majority he wasn’t sure what the outcome would look like. He said, “the truth of the matter is that Brexit has been a sideshow.” Jump to question here.
In contrast, Andrew Neil questioned Gavin Fraser about his opinion on the deadening effect of Brexit uncertainty on UK investment. Gavin believes Brexit is critical to the property market, property development is funded by foreign capital and the flow of capital in and out of the UK is fundamental to getting supply and demand right. Jump to question here.
The panel seems to be unanimous in thinking a Corbyn government would be bad news for landlords, says Andrew Neil, but already under a conservative government landlords have had to endure a ban on tenant fees, a cap on deposits, stamp duty levy of 3% on landlords and the government have been looking at three year tenancy terms. He asks Iain Duncan Smith, “what else do you have in store for landlords?” Watch Iain Duncan Smith’s answer here.
The audience was then given the opportunity to ask questions which covered topics such as the possibility of a Conservative government reversing George Osborne’s decision to cancel tax relief on Buy-To-Let mortgages. Hear the question here.
Andrew Neil concluded saying that there are a lot of issues to resolve relating to housing and the property market, and he urged landlords to speak to politicians and to ask them about the issues that concern them the most and to try hard to get housing higher up the agenda. Only then might Landlords get some worthwhile changes.