‘Tenant tax’ judicial review hearing confirmed for mid-September

A legal campaign to overturn the Government’s controversial ‘tenant tax’ has taken a step forward with the announcement that a hearing will take place on September 14/15. The campaign to reverse plans to phase out mortgage interest tax relief for private landlords has QC Cherie Blair at the helm of the legal team.

Barrister Cherie Blair is leading the legal campaign against Section 24. Photo by Jaqen (Niccolò Caranti) via Wiki

Barrister Cherie Blair is leading the legal campaign against Section 24. Photo by Jaqen (Niccolò Caranti) via Wiki

The hearing is to determine whether or not there will be a judicial review into the plans to axe the tax relief and former Prime Minister’s wife Mrs Blair will state the case on behalf of landlords’ groups, who claim it is unfair.

Landlord campaigners Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper issued a joint statement welcoming the news that there will be a hearing.

“This is good news because it is one month earlier than expected, which means we will know next month if we are able to proceed with a full Judicial Review”, they said.

They reiterated an appeal for funding to help pay for various costs including hiring a communications agency to get their message across to a wider audience.

“We have been clear from the start that for our legal challenge to have the best chance of success, it has to be supported by a professional communications, media and lobbying campaign,” they added.

The campaigners also revealed they have a meeting scheduled with new housing minister Gavin Barwell on September 9, during which they will try to persuade him to join their efforts to scrap the tax measures, which are planned to be phased in from April 2017.

The ‘tenant tax’, otherwise known as Section 24 of the Finance Bill 2015-16, means that landlords will be restricted to only claiming relief on mortgage interest up to the basic rate of tax once the new rules have fully been phased in by 2020.

Mr Bolton and Mr Cooper added: “We will obviously be raising our serious concerns about the impact of Section 24, making him (Mr Barwell) aware of our legal challenge and doing the best job we can to help him become a supporter of our cause within Government.”