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APRIL 18, 2016 | BY A & S Property

Retirees would struggle without BTL income

Almost three quarters (72%) of pensioners who have an investment property said they would struggle to make ends meet if they didn’t have the income from their buy-to-let, according to a poll carried out by Responsible Equity Release.

The reliance on income from buy-to-let in retirement is revealed, with eight out of 10 (81%) pensioners aged over 65, who own a buy-to-let, admitting their properties provide an important, even vital, boost to their retirement income, especially with low interest rates hammering retirees’ savings.

Responsible Life polled more than 1,000 retirees in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland about owning a buy-to-let property. The majority, more than nine out of 10 (92%), said they are worried about the changes to mortgage interest tax relief and the impact on the profit they make from their investment property.

The buy-to-let tax changes coming into force have left many pensioner landlords considering whether it’s worth holding onto their buy-to-lets at all. Four out of 10 (41%) said although their buy-to-let property was a valuable income generator, they are now thinking seriously about selling it.

Steve Wilkie, managing director at Responsible Equity Release, said: "For many pensioners, having a buy-to-let property has been a life saver in this low interest environment. While their savings have languished, earning very little interest, and pension income has been hit hard by falling share prices, property income has remained strong.

“Without the income boost from their buy-to-let, many would really be struggling to make ends meet. But the Chancellor has yet again ignored UK’s retirees when he announced changes to the way buy-to-let would be taxed.

“George Osborne was so focused on taxing the rich, he forgot that a new tax on buy-to-let won’t just hit the wealthy, it will also hit those honest, hardworking people, who may have a single buy-to-let property, and were just hoping it would earn them a little extra income in retirement.”

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