Land­lords need a level play­ing field

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion -

As a small-time stu­dent land­lord my­self I have to make a cou­ple of points af­ter Can­ter­bury City Coun­cil said it wants to charge land­lords busi­ness rates.

This ap­pears fair enough but what is not com­monly known is that the gov­ern­ment is look­ing to abol­ish in­ter­est ex­pense on rented prop­erty as an al­low­able de­duc­tion on in­come tax. It is say­ing that it doesn’t re­gard prop­erty in­vest­ment as a busi­ness. Of course this is a non­sense. There are many land­lords who pro­fes­sion­ally run prop­erty busi­nesses.

Look at all the other busi­nesses in Can­ter­bury that de­rive a large pro­por­tion of their in­come from our boom­ing stu­dent pop­u­la­tion – night­clubs, pubs, restau­rants, shops, take­aways etc. Why should these be al­lowed favourable terms re­gard­ing in­ter­est and land­lords not? It’s one thing to im­pose busi­ness rates but it’s hardly a level play­ing field. Why does our coun­cil and some of our coun­cil­lors al­ways look to vil­ify land­lords?

Cllr Terry West­gate says that res­i­dents feel they are “sub­si­dis­ing land­lords” while Cllr Jean Butcher said land­lords were “mak­ing huge prof­its”.

The city coun­cil should be sup­port­ing land­lords who not only pro­vide of em­ploy­ment to many trades­peo­ple but pro­vide a vi­tal role in hous­ing stu­dents. The coun­cil should be ask­ing our MP Sir Ju­lian Bra­zier to get the gov­ern­ment to re­visit its pro­posal. David Long St Dun­stan’s, Can­ter­bury

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