The Residential Landlords Association has responded to inaccurate accusations from the campaign group, Generation Rent, which is playing to people’s fears on the private rented sector and failing to provide a true reflection of the sector.
The campaign organisation has launched a consultation on its manifesto for the sector but the RLA is warning that it fails to provide a balanced picture of the sector, and instead seeks to exaggerate the scale of the challenges facing tenants.
Generation Rent writes of “soaring rents” leaving many tenants facing financial difficulties. This fails to note however figures from the Office for National Statistics which show that rents in the private rented sector have been increasing by much less than inflation measured both by CPI and RPI. Over the last year they increased by just 1% alone in England and have been increasing by much less than both measures of inflation over the past 9 years as well.
Whilst the consultation calls for rent controls, it fails to address the impact these would have on investment as outlined last year by MPs on the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.
Generation Rent argue that the private rented sector is “characterised by insecure, short-term tenancies”. This fails to recognise that the English Housing Survey itself notes that the average length of residency for a tenant in the private rented sector is now 3.8 years. Furthermore, as the official survey notes, “in general, those who had lived in their home for longer paid less rent.”
In calling for longer tenancies, Generation Rent are failing to address the concerns of those, such as the Chairman of the Cross-Party Communities and Local Government Select Committee, Clive Betts MP who has argued that they are unlikely to stick.
Generation Rent argue that “landlords and letting agents are astonishingly unregulated.” This is despite their being over 100 Acts of Parliament containing around 400 individual requirements
Whilst Generation Rent has also said that “environmental health teams invariably have too few staff to oversee enforcement” they fail to outline how to boost enforcement capacity and to properly find and root out those criminal landlords who persistently operate under the radar whilst the good landlords get burdened with ever growing weights of red tape.
The manifesto consultation further fails to outline how much its proposals would end up costing the private rented sector and who would pay for it.
The proposals further fail to mention that:
- Government figures show 83% of tenants in the private rented sector are satisfied with their properties compared to 81% in the social sector.
- Just 9% of tenancies in the private rented sector are ended by the landlord, mostly as a result of tenants committing anti -social behaviour or failing to pay their rent.
Commenting, Richard Jones, the RLA’s Policy Director said:
“The RLA recognises that there are many challenges facing the private rented sector. It is however important that policy solutions are rooted in evidence rather seeking to play on and exploit people’s gut fears of the sector.
“It is time the politics of division came to an end in favour of a reasoned and rational debate about how to ensure the sector is fit for the 21st Century, both for landlords and tenants.”
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