Buy to let tax ha ha
It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at the news that up to 80,000 buy to let investors face a massive tax bill from the Inland Revenue, which might mean they have to sell some of their properties.
The Times' leader describes buy to let as a 'useful social investment', good for both landlords and tenants and therefore society as a whole. This is undeniably a widely held view amongst landlords, but it rests on the idea that it is good for society that there is a growing number of people who own several houses, and a growing number who own none. I struggle to see why it is better for people who can't afford to buy to contribute towards their landlord's mortgage, rather than being able to rent (at lower cost) from a council or housing association. Buying up several properties purely as an investment opportunity is a kind of anti-social behaviour, like its more obnoxious cousin 'buy to leave'.
One modest suggestion. How's about taking this opportunity to increase the amount of social housing by using the tax money to buy up any properties that buy to let investors have to sell?