Conservatives must reform tax to help landlords

General Election 2017
Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The Conservatives must reform tax to support landlords if they want to hit housing targets, says RLA chairman Alan Ward.

The association says the Conservative manifesto, released today does not go far enough to support individual landlords who are providing vital homes to rent.

Unlike the Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos, the Conservative document is light on policies directly affecting to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) – although given the previous tax raids on buy-to-let landlords, maybe this is something to be grateful for.

It includes plans to ‘strengthen equalities enforcement’ – a response to criticisms of right to rent – however the RLA wants the party to go further and pledge to scrap the checks altogether.

The manifesto outlines plans to:

  • Look at how to increase security for good tenants and encourage landlords to offer longer tenancies as standard.
  • Strengthen the enforcement of equalities law – so that landlords and businesses who deny people a service on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender are investigated and prosecuted.
  • Halve rough sleeping over the course of the parliament and eliminate it altogether by 2027.
  • Reform and modernise the home-buying process so it is more efficient and less costly.
  • Crack down on unfair practices in leasehold, such as escalating ground rents.
  • Meet the 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020, delivering half a million more by the end of 2022.
  • Deliver the reforms proposed in the Housing White Paper
  • Build high-quality, high-density housing like mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets – and pledges that government would build 160,000 houses on its own land.
  • Support specialist housing where it is needed, like multi-generational homes and housing for older people, including helping housing associations increase their specialist housing stock.
  • Work with private and public sector house builders to capture the increase in land value created when they build to reinvest in local infrastructure, essential services and further housing.

In response to the document RLA Chairman, Alan Ward, said more needs to be done to support and expand the PRS.

He said: “With almost two million new homes to rent needed by 2025 this manifesto does not go far enough in supporting good landlords to develop the new homes we need.

“We need a tax system that encourages landlords wanting to invest in new homes for tenants and a planning system that frees up small plots as well as improving existing stock.

“Should they win on June 8th we will work with Conservative Ministers to ensure it harnesses the opportunities the private rental market presents to meet today’s manifesto commitment to 1.5 million new homes by 2022.”

To view the full manifesto click here.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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