More should be done to support landlords, says the RLA

By Emma Martin, 18 April 2018

A report which has been released this week stating that millennials could be relying on the Private Rented Sector (PRS) until well into retirement has prompted the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) to say that more should be done to support landlords.

With the scope of the PRS growing as more and more people opt as a long term alternative to buying, it is more crucial than ever for the rental sector to work for both landlords and tenants.

The news has recently been inundated with stories about proposed rent controls, punishment for rouge landlords and tax implications hitting the buy-to-let sector; but very little has been said about supporting new and existing landlords.

The report from the Resolution Foundation said that up to a third of millennials born between 1980 and 1996 could be renting for the entirety of their lives. With demand growing for high-quality rental property it is important that landlords feel supported and encouraged to continue to let out properties.

The RLA has carried out their own worrying survey which has shown that 69% of landlords are put off from investing in additional buy-to-let properties due to the 3% stamp duty levy. These kinds of barriers to investment should be of concern for all as the PRS cannot operate successfully without landlords.

Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association, David Smith, said: “The [Resolution Foundation] report shows the perfect storm that young people face. With home ownership remaining difficult for many to access, demand for homes to rent continues to increase. This is at a time when government tax increases are discouraging many landlords from investing in new homes to rent out.”

“Ministers need to make pragmatic changes to their approach to private rented housing, with a series of policies that support, rather than attack, the majority of private landlords who are individuals to invest in the new homes to rent we need alongside all other tenures.”

He continued to argue that, “this includes greater support and encouragement for those prepared to offer longer tenancies but who are concerned about being locked into agreements where tenants might be failing to pay their rent, not looking after their property or committing anti-social behaviour.”

The RLA has asserted that it believes that a number of reforms should take place including the 3% buy-to-let stamp duty being abolished as well as new incentives put into place to continue the growth of the PRS. Their research states that, should such reforms take place, 73% of landlord said that they would be encouraged to offer longer-term tenancies. The RLA also wishes for a new housing court to improve and speed up access to justice for tenants and landlords when things go wrong put in place.

If you are a landlord who needs advice on lettings and management, please get in touch with our team today!

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