MIKE Hancock the Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South has called on the new Coalition Government to start charging student landlords business rates on their homes.
MMMM interesting one Mike. Have you thought this one through. Perhaps not.....
He states he is in agreement with the current situation where students are exempt from paying council tax. This lost revenue currently costs Portsmouth City Council £3.5m per year he suggests. His big idea is that 'fat cat' student landlords who make money out of students should pay business rates on their properties to make up this shortfall.
So Mike..... brilliant idea but there may be a few little flaws in your plan like:
When is a student not a student? Does a part time student qualify. What about houses where some tenants are students, some are not? Post grads doing work placements......students Mike?
Landlords with large property portfolios might legitimately be classed as a business but what about the legions of landlords with one property that they let out to three or four students, with very often one of them being their own child.
Most importantly Mike. If student landlords are to be treated like a business; then surely they should also be taxed as a business. This would allow the far more generous treated of expenses and allowances than is currently the case. Importantly, it would mean that rental losses could be off set against other taxable income as is the case with holiday homes. This would be particularly useful for many landlords who have frequently made losses on their rental business but have been unable to set against other taxable income made in the same tax year.
So Mike, interesting idea, but have you really thought it through, if so feel free to clarify your ideas. If not we will just have to assume that it's yet another politician's posturing from the comfort of their ivory tower with not so much of a toe grounded where the rest of us live.
Landlord insurance quote - professional rates