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Generation Rent Criticises Budget as Landlord “Giveaway” with Potential Homelessness Risk

In a stark contrast to the wider public reception, Generation Rent has labelled the recent Budget announcements as a boon for landlords, potentially endangering the housing security of thousands of renters. The activist group expressed concerns that the measures introduced could lead to an increase in homelessness among renters.

Budget Measures Stir Controversy
Among the key financial updates was the decision to terminate tax benefits for furnished holiday let properties from April 2025, a move aimed at dissuading landlords from prioritising short-term holiday rentals over providing long-term housing solutions. Additionally, in a move that caught many by surprise, the Chancellor announced a reduction in the higher rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) from 28% to 24%, intended to stimulate property sales and increase housing availability for first-time buyers.

However, the abolition of Multiple Dwellings Relief, despite a grace period for transactions already underway, has also been a point of contention.

Generation Rent’s Concerns
Generation Rent’s ire is primarily directed at the CGT reduction, which, although designed to encourage a greater supply of properties for purchase, is feared to lead to increased evictions. Ben Twomey, Chief Executive of Generation Rent, argued that this tax incentive for landlords disregards the repercussions for tenants, potentially resulting in eviction as properties are prepared for sale.

Twomey highlighted the contradiction between this move and ongoing legislative efforts to reduce evictions, stating, “Landlords selling up is already one of the leading causes of homelessness, with 16,470 households made or being threatened with homelessness for that reason in the six months to September 2023.”

He further proposed that if the government proceeds with the CGT cut, additional safeguards for renters are necessary. Suggestions included making the reduced tax rate conditional on landlords selling properties with sitting tenants or directly to the tenants themselves, to mitigate the risk of displacement.

The criticism from Generation Rent underscores a deep concern about the potential for increased homelessness and the need for balanced policy measures that protect both the housing market and the interests of vulnerable tenants.