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Government policy for rented housing is failing

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Landlords are claiming that a string of data released today demonstrates the failure of government policy for the private rented sector.

The Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors is warning that private sector rents are set to increase by 2 per cent over the next year as a result of the demand for such housing exceeding supply as landlords disinvest from the sector. This follows recent tax increases including restricting mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax and a 3 per cent stamp duty levy on the purchase of extra housing.

Alongside this it has been disclosed that just 18 individual landlords and property agents and five companies are registered on the database of rogue landlords for offences committed since April 2018. The RLA argues that this means either the number of problem landlords is not as high as many have argued or local authorities are focussing too much time on licensing good landlords instead of rooting out the criminals.

In a further blow to good landlords, statistics published today show that it now takes an average of almost half a year for courts to process claims for repossession of their property.  The RLA argues that during this time tenants may be refusing to pay any rent, indulging in anti-social behaviour or damaging the property.

John Stewart, Policy Manager for the Residential Landlords Association, said:

“This series of statistics clearly shows the negative impact of government policies. At the end of the day it is tenants who are suffering. The drop off in supply caused by good landlords who find operating in the market more difficult means it is increasingly difficult for tenants to secure somewhere to live and they are then faced with higher rents.

“Ministers need to change course and instead of attacking the private rented sector, there should be policies and taxation to encourage growth in the supply of rental accommodation to meet the ever increasing demand.”

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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