What you need to know about Cherie Blair’s legal fight against the Tory government

If you rent your home, you might want to read this

Cherie Blair, professionally known as Cherie Booth QC, has argued the rights of buy-to-let landlords have been breached by a tax hike imposed by the government.

In a legal challenge brought by her law firm Omnia Strategy on behalf of landlords, the barrister argued a new law which stops landlords offsetting mortgage costs with tax discriminates against small landlords.

The change, which is part of the Finance Act 2015, will start to be phased in in April 2017 and bring in about £1bn in tax revenues by 2021.

Announcing the rules, Osborne said it would create a “level playing field” for buyers trying to compete against landlords in the property market.

However, Blair’s firm argued it could mean small landlords who rely on mortgages ended up paying taxes even if they don’t make profits, meanwhile large landlords who can pay in cash are not affected.

Rent rise for tenants?

In a letter to HMRC, the firm also said the law placed “an excessive and individual burden” on tenants, as a survey carried out by the company found landlords planned to pass the difference on to tenants by increasing their rent.

It said the government appeared “not to have properly assessed or taken into account, the impact of the measure on tenants”.

 

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