Landlords urge the Tory Leadership candidates to show more consideration towards the private rented sector, according to a recent press release from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
As well as airing the concerns of landlords, the RLA claims that the wishes of tenants have not been respected, as the Government has proceeded to introduce policies that reduce the supply of homes to rent.
Recent RLA research suggests that 10 per cent of landlords, who represented 18 per cent of all tenancies in the rental sector, intended to reduce the number of properties they own. Meanwhile, 5 per cent of landlords, representing 5 per cent of all tenancies, intended to leave the market altogether.
Moreover, 46 per cent of landlords expressed the intention to sell some or all of their properties, according to the RLA.
This comes after several Conservative policies were introduced, dampening investment in the property market. The Government also oversaw the introduction of a tax on landlord investment in new rental housing. This means that landlords are confronted with a 3 per cent stamp duty levy when investing, according to the RLA.
The UK Government recently proposed to limit the ability of landlords to repossess homes, with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warning that expectations for increasing rents have reached their highest levels for three years.
The five-point plan
The RLA urged the Tory leadership candidates to support its five-point plan for the rental sector. The plan includes pro-growth taxation, to ensure that enough homes to rent are meeting growing demand, as well as more support for “vulnerable” tenants, by eliminating the Local Allowance cap.
Moreover, the RLA’s five-point plan called on the Tory leadership candidates to help root out “criminal landlords”, by giving councils more resources to make better use of their existing powers.
The RLA called on the leadership contenders to reject all forms of rent controls as part of the plan, as the association is of the view that rent controls merely serve to decrease the supply of homes to rent. Decreasing supply reduces choice for tenants and increases overall rents, the RLA concluded.
The RLA also suggested a fairer system for the repossession of homes, which aims to protect tenants from unfair evictions, while retaining the right of landlords to repossess their properties, when legitimately needed.
David Smith, policy director of the RLA, commented: “The new Conservative Prime Minister needs to reconsider the approach to the private rented sector. Otherwise, the situation for tenants will just get worse, as they face less choice and higher rents because of a growing shortage of properties.”
Mr Smith concluded: “We need a raft of changes that will encourage more investment in high-standard homes, rather than efforts to scapegoat landlords for failures by successive governments to build enough homes.”