With growth now the buzzword across much of Europe, both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are taking a far closer interest in what more can be done to stimulate the housing sector as a lever for growth.
During an interview with the Financial Times last month, Nick Clegg promised a ‘massive’ increase in state-backed investment in housing and infrastructure, while it is understood that David Cameron has asked Chancellor George Osborne to draw up plans to extend state guarantees for mortgages, housing projects and major infrastructure schemes.
Given the increasing importance being attached to boosting the housing market to support wider economic growth, greater attention is now turning to what more can be done to support and encourage growth in the private rental sector.
Following the calls by the CLG Select Committee for reforms to the way the sector is taxed, as outlined in the previous e-newsletter, the RLA’s campaign for changes to the taxation system has begun to gain momentum, with the tenant eviction and referencing firm, Landlord Assist, calling on the Government to provide greater tax incentives to landlords to stimulate investment in private rented homes, while the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has called for selected tax breaks for landlords.
It is clear that the RLA’s work in calling for taxation changes, based on the findings of Professor Ball’s report, are gaining traction and support from other organisations and from within Parliament itself.
The successful campaign to see buy-to-let mortgages taken out of the scope of the EU’s Mortgage Directive altogether was a testament to the power of RLA members themselves lobbying their own local politicians.
Members can also prove a strong voice in pressing the case to their own MPs for reforms to the way the sector is taxed. For more information, contact Ed Jacobs, the RLA’s political consultant, on 0113 278 0211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help on how to make contact with your MP and for a briefing outlining the RLA’s proposals.
In Wales, meanwhile, the publication of the Government’s Housing White Paper courted much media attention around its proposals to effectively licence every private rented property. The paper said: “Accreditation will secure full registration status, which is effectively a licence to operate as a private landlord in Wales.”
Having been actively involved in discussions with the Welsh Government, the RLA is currently preparing a submission to the consultation which will be used also as the basis of a briefing for Assembly Members.