Welsh Landlords Demand Removal of Stamp Duty Levy

Landlords are calling for the Welsh Government to remove the 3 per cent stamp duty levy in certain cases, in the hope to increase housing supply.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) wants the new Welsh Land Transaction Tax (LTT) to remove the stamp duty surcharge where a landlord is adding to the housing supply, for example, when buying a new build. The landlord group claims that the 3 per cent levy will limit future supply and push up rents.

LTT is set to replace stamp duty in Wales in 2018. However the government is reluctant to make changes to the policy, claiming that the revenue generated by the higher rate is ‘essential to the delivery of public services.’

Vice chairman of the Residential Landlords Association and its director for Wales, Douglas Haig, said: ‘The government has rightly made boosting the supply of housing, including homes to rent, a priority. Whilst we believe the planned levy on homes to rent out will most hurt vulnerable tenants needing a place to live, the assembly has an opportunity to make constructive changes to the bill to rectify this and back the nation’s tenants.’

However, a Welsh Government spokeswoman countered this, and said: ‘Respondents to our consultation about the higher rate expressed a clear view about the importance of maintaining a single, consistent rate across the UK when stamp duty is devolved to Wales in April 2018. Last month the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast the additional revenue from the higher rate in Wales will be £58m in 2018-19. This funding will be essential to the delivery of public services across Wales. We will monitor the impact of the higher rate in Wales and will assess evidence as it emerges to ensure the land transaction tax higher rate remains appropriate for Wales.’

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