Why you should support Axe the Tenant Tax
What is the Axe the Tenant Tax campaign?
The ‘Axe the Tenant Tax’ campaign was formed by two landlords, Steve Bolton, Executive Chairman of Platinum Property Partners and Chris Cooper. It is a grass-roots, not for profit, volunteer-driven campaign that was created to fight against Section 24 of the Finance (no. 2) Act 2015: the “Tenant Tax”.
The primary goal of the campaign is to ‘Axe the Tenant Tax’, or to see it amended so that the retroactive nature of the tax is removed (IE it only applies to new borrowings).
The Tenant Tax is ludicrous legislation that will result in rents for affordable homes increasing substantially, as evidenced by two failed experiments in Ireland where a very similar tax was reversed because they led to very substantial rent increases. It will also put extreme pressure on to huge numbers of private landlords and providers of social housing and ultimately, even greater numbers of people will be made homeless.
The campaign launch-pad was a legal challenge via the Judicial Review process. This was spearheaded by Cherie Blair CBE, QC and was supported with funding from more than 2,000 private landlords, letting agents, industry bodies and other stakeholders. Whilst a Judicial Review was denied on legal grounds by a judge at the High Court in October 2016, the campaign has since focussed on political lobbying and mobilising an industry coalition.
To date the Axe the Tenant Tax campaign has succeeded in gaining substantial media coverage, with more than 1,000 articles being published and widespread national media coverage achieved. Our supporters have met with scores of politicians and a number of MPs have started to use the term ‘Tenant Tax’ or the ‘Axe the Tenant Tax’ in their communications. We have also created a growing list of MPs who are supportive of our cause and the political support continues to build.
What is the Tenant Tax Coalition?
To accelerate progress towards our primary goal, we created an umbrella coalition, which has buy-in and support from all of the major industry bodies including the following Tenant Tax core coalition stakeholders:
National Landlords Association (NLA)
Residential Landlords Association (RLA)
Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL)
Association of Residential Letting Agents(ARLA)
UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA)
Together, these organisations alone represent more than 150,000 private landlords, who in turn provide homes to more than one million tenants. They also represent a large number of professional letting agents in the UK. In addition to the core stakeholders, the Coalition also has the backing and support of many thousands of other individuals and organisations who have been supporting the Tenant Tax Coalition and the Axe the Tenant Tax campaign to date.
The core coalition stakeholders and many others have agreed to support the campaign in the ways that are best suited to each organisations desires and circumstances. Individual and independent activities will continue but the core stakeholders are also working together on some or all of the campaign activities listed below:
Core coalition stakeholders will share their outline plans for activity in relation to the Tenant Tax with each other, so that better visibility and co-ordination can occur and greater impact is achieved. The intention and goal is to ensure a more joined-up approach to the individual and collective media, lobbying and research efforts.
All Coalition members, including the core stakeholders, are encouraged to use either the terms ‘Tenant Tax’ or ‘Axe the Tenant Tax’ when referring to Section 24. This will support greater awareness by acting as a focal point for communications and referencing.
The Axe the Tenant Tax team will share communications from our supporters regarding the names and correspondence received from MPs and other influencers who have expressed their support for our campaign with the core coalition stakeholders so that lobbying efforts can be carried out more effective and efforts magnified.
The Tenant Tax website will be kept up to date with input from and links to valuable research and documents created by the core stakeholders and other supporters.
A summary of the key activities carried out by the core and other stakeholders to date in relation to their individual efforts to Axe the Tenant Tax will be provided and shared publicly via Tenant Tax communications channels.
Existing resources and research completed to date will be shared via the Tenant Tax website, with links back to the relevant core and other stakeholder organisations websites.
PR, Media and Social Media efforts carried out by the Tenant Tax team and coalition members will aim to drive far greater awareness from landlords, letting agents, tenants and other industry stakeholders who are not currently aware of the Tenant Tax. It is estimated that more than 90% of landlords are not members of any form of landlord organisation and are also likely to be unaware of the potential impact of the Tenant Tax to them personally.
Core coalition stakeholders have discussed the list of proposed activities and initiatives shown below. Core and other stakeholders will choose to support in whatever way they believe that they can add the most value. They may engage with all of these activities, or choose a ‘pick and mix’ approach.
What are the planned Axe the Tenant Tax campaign and coalition activities?
Westminster MP and Tenant Tax coalition reception and dinner. A reception and dinner is planned to be hosted in the Westminster area with invitations sent to supportive and swing MPs. Coalition stakeholders will be represented and have time to share their views with MPs. This will be in addition to all of the past and ongoing lobbying efforts that have being carried out by the coalition stakeholders.
Extensive Tenant Survey. Axe the Tenant Tax have agreed with SpareRoom that an extensive tenant facing survey on the implications of the tax changes and the knock-on consequences to tenants will be sent to thousands of tenants. The resulting findings can be used in PR activities and will also add weight to individual and combined lobbying efforts.
Mortgage Lender and Broker Engagement. Axe the Tenant Tax will be communicating with the Council of Mortgage Lenders and some of the largest individual mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers. The goal is engaging greater support and raising greater awareness to the vast numbers of landlords who are still unaware of the Tenant Tax through lending communication channels. Core and other coalition stakeholders have agreed to lend their support to these communication efforts.
Research reports and lobbying efforts. The production of impactful research reports and follow-up media releases by the coalition stakeholders will continue. These will be shared via the Tenant Tax communication channels. Future collaboration on some of these efforts is also planned.
Meeting with and writing to your MP – New Resource Pack. Axe the Tenant Tax will provide a clear and easy to use resource pack that will encourage landlords to contact their local MP. This resource pack will include the ‘best of the best’ resources from coalition stakeholders efforts to encourage their own members to lobby MPs. It will also include suggestions regarding letters and responses to letters, as well as Tenant Tax campaign documents that can be sent in advance and used as ‘leave behinds’.
March 2017 Budget Lobbying and PR. All core coalition stakeholders and Axe the Tenant Tax campaign will be lobbying government and MPs and producing numerous media releases in the run up to the March 2017 budget. The campaign will support the efforts of coalition stakeholders and share relevant and appropriate activities and progress reports.
Axe the Tenant Tax Awareness Week – 3rd to 9th April 2017. Axe the Tenant Tax Awareness Week will consist of a series of PR, political and social media activities to link in with the planned start date of Section 24 on the 5th April 2017. This is based on a working assumption that the Tenant Tax is not abolished or changed in the March 2017 budget. Widespread social media campaigns, live events, webinars and direct communication to landlords, tenants, other stakeholders and the media will take place.
Raising Greater Awareness. All coalition stakeholders, supporters, sponsors and donors will be encouraged to share Tenant Tax links and materials and drive greater awareness towards the estimated 90% plus of landlords who are not aware of the Tenant Tax.
Funding and Resources. All Core Stakeholders have and will continue to provide financial support to the Axe the Tenant Tax campaign, either directly or indirectly. Significant costs and investment have and continue to be made by these organisations in the form of staffing, research and both direct and indirect costs towards the campaign to Axe the Tenant Tax. To support this investment and enable an even greater range of activities to be undertaken, the ATT coalition crowdfunding campaign will continue and donations can be made by individuals and organsiations.
The above is not an exhaustive list of the coalition’s activities but it provides a strong indication on our direction of travel.
How can I support the campaign and coalition?
If you support our primary goal, which is to Axe the Tenant Tax, or see that it is amended so that it only applies to new borrowings, then you can show your support in the following ways:
Donate. Please add your financial support to our cause – click donate at the top.
Once you have made a donation, you can:
Share. Please share this email far and wide with friends, family and associates.
Engage. You can stay up to date with progress and/or engage with us here:
More than anything, your financial support is the life blood of the campaign and our continued growth and progress. All of the money you donate goes towards the campaign activities and not towards paying staff or funding overheads.
We believe that by working together effectively as a coalition, together, we can Axe the Tenant Tax.
It just remains for us to thank you in advance if your support if choose to donate.
Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper
Axe the Tenant Tax
1 Jun 2016
Updates from Axe the Tenant Tax
As this fundraising campaign proceeds, you’ll see updates appearing here.