Tony Harris, chair of the Federal Finance and Resources Committee for the Liberal Democrats, has considered setting up a new landlord association for members within his party who are landlords.
Writing in a personal capacity on the Lib Dem Voice website, Mr Harris criticised the government’s approach towards landlords, claiming he was made to feel like an “evil landlord”. He also remarked that the Liberal Democrats had a distorted view of landlords.
Giving a voice to responsible landlords
Mr Harris proposed the idea of gathering fellow Liberal Democrats who are also landlords, suggesting they could “discuss the formation of a Liberal Democrat Landlords Association (LDLA) with the objective of giving a voice to the responsible landlords without our party”.
Mr Harris’ proposals comes just as the government announced its own intention to scrap Section 21 eviction notices, which allow landlords to evict tenants without reason at the end of a fixed term. Critics of the government’s proposals warn that the move could result in open-ended terms.
Misconception of landlords
Mr Harris also levelled some of his criticism at his own party, claiming that “they tend to bundle all landlords into the ‘rogue’ category which is not only inaccurate and unfair but it also recognises that the people making policy don’t really understalandlordnd the professional rental sector.”
The Liberal Democrats have faced criticism for their stance on housing policy in the past, especially with regard to landlords.
Following the announcement of their 2017 election manifesto, Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) remarked that the party’s plans to allow local authorities to levy 200 per cent council tax on second homes was “just another way of attacking landlords, the very people who are providing valuable homes to rent at a time of housing crisis.”