Yesterday the government proposed that the Bank of England should be given powers to regulate buy-to-let mortgages.

The Bank can already limit lending for residential mortgages, and has asked the government for power to intervene in the rapidly growing buy-to-let sector. Measures could include an ability to cap the maximum loan-to-value ratio for buy-to-let mortgages and/or demanding a higher ratio of rental income over and above mortgage payments.

This proposal is just the latest in a series of measures aimed at reducing the size of private rental sector in favour of promoting home ownership.

From April 2016, landlords face a 3% Stamp Duty surcharge when they buy a property. Also the amount of tax relief they can claim is to be cut, with a change to landlords being taxed on turnover and not profits. And landlords who exit the sector will find their Capital Gains Tax bill landing on the mat much sooner than it does at the moment.

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