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Generation Rent Playing to People’s Fears

RLA
Written by RLA

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 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.

Rents

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.

Tenancy Lengths

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.

Regulation

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.”

What do you think of Generation Rent’s consultation? Leave your comment below.

About the author

RLA

RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

2 Comments

  • Why do you not respond directly on their website? Is it a case of fear of giving them legitimacy by responding directly in public?

  • Hi Christine and thanks for the comment.

    We are currently finalizing our response to the Generation Rent consultation request which I am currently drafting a news story on.

    However, to answer your question on why we don’t respond directly via their website: our news hub is designed to provide our members, private landlords, and anyone else interested in the private housing sector an insight into what the RLA is doing and how it is handling debates within the sector. There are some venues that are simply not conducive to a rationale debate as some topics can be very emotive and people can be deeply entrenched in these emotions and/or their views.

    We will be responding directly to Generation Rent in the next few days. In the meantime, we strive to provide you with actual facts and not just speculation and prejudice.

    Do you think it would be more powerful to respond to Generation Rent on their website, Christine?

    William – RLA Campaigns

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