George Osborne unveiled a shock tax change in 2015: the tax relief that landlords get for finance costs will be restricted to the basic rate of Income Tax. To put it another way, the current rules give most landlords a 40% discount on their current interest costs, but under the new regime, this discount will drop to 20%. This tax change will be phased in from will start to be phased in from 6th April this year and fully implemented by 2021.
There’s no doubt these changes will makes things more difficult for landlords, but the first thing to note is that landlords who are basic rate tax payers (earning less than about £40k), or those without a mortgage, won’t be affected at all.
Secondly, there are steps landlords can take to try and cut their interest costs. The first being re-mortgaging. Buy-to-let mortgage interest rates have fallen significantly in recent years, so deals currently on the market may well be substantially better than on products arranged a few years ago.
With large increases in property prices in London, another tip is to get your rental property re-valued. This will make your lender recalculate your LTV, and a lower LTV means a better interest rate and a larger choice of lenders.