William Eichler 14 August 2017

Landlords dodge nearly £200m of tax in London borough

Up to 13,000 landlords in one east London borough have failed to declare their rental income to the Government, the local council has found.

Newham council’s Private Housing and Enforcement team understands up to 13,000 Newham landlords are of interest to HMRC due to potential discrepancies between council records and the income declared to the exchequer.

The borough was the first to introduce a compulsory licensing scheme for landlords in 2013 and says of the 27,000 registered, nearly half had not registered for self-assessment.

The council has previously estimated that unpaid tax by landlords in London is costing the public purse £183.1m.

‘Our private rented sector licensing scheme has proved to be tremendously successful,’ said Sir Robin Wales, the mayor of Newham.

‘We are driving up standards across the private rented sector and making it clear that criminal landlords have no place in Newham.

‘In addition to uncovering large scale exploitation of vulnerable tenants, our licensing scheme has also unearthed that many unscrupulous landlords may be benefiting from undeclared tax.’

‘At a time when local authorities are experiencing savage cuts and Newham alone has had half its grant funding cut; possible tax evasion on this scale takes money from vital public services,’ he continued.

‘This is money out of the pockets of our poorest residents who rely on our services the most.’

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