Peers in the House of Lords have recommended that landlords based in coastal regions should receive a tax incentive, if they decide to improve the quality of property they own, according to a recent Parliamentary publication.
They also expressed an intention to examine the reasons why coastal towns had a high level of poor housing stock and the potential social impacts this could have.
The House of Lords also discussed the need for regeneration of coastal areas, where much of the housing stock is former holiday housing, which has since been converted for use as full-time housing for the local populations in these areas.
Seaside areas are particularly vulnerable due to weak local economies, coupled with economic and social problems, directly related to low-quality accommodation, according to the recent publication from the House of Lords.
Poor quality coastal housing
In their publication, the House of Lords remarked that: “Coastal local authorities reported a concerning imbalance within their local housing markets and a complete lack of incentives for either private landlords to make improvements to their properties, or for local investors to intervene and undertake housing redevelopment.”
One of the prime examples of poor-quality coastal housing was identified as homes of multiple-occupancy (HMOs). Peers commented: “The proliferation of sub-standard housing and poorly-managed HMOs in seaside towns underpins many of the social and economic problems that struggling coastal areas suffer.”
The report added that HMOs have been a major reason for a lack of regeneration in coastal areas, due to poorly-executed conversions, carried out without planning building regulations approval in many cases.
Peers also recognised the need for ensuring the incentivising of investment in higher-quality housing stock, as well as the need for greater support, to ensure local authorities could tackle sub-standard housing in their respective areas.
A welcome recommendation
The recommendations presented by peers were welcomed by organisations such as the Residential Landlords Association (RLA). The RLA has previously expressed concern at the lack of incentives for landlords to improve things such as the energy efficiency standards of properties. John Stewart, policy manager at the RLA, said: “We call on the Government to accept this proposal.”