The Residential Landlords’ Association is urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to go for growth in the budget by implementing its recommendations to boost the supply of private rented properties.
Measures to support the almost 90 per cent of landlords, who are individuals or couples, to invest in new homes would prove a substantial shot in the arm for the economy, and were outlined in its Manifesto for Growth, which was launched earlier today.
Figures from Professor Michael Ball of the University of Reading indicate that every £1 invested in the sector provides a return to the economy of £3.50 through expenditure on building work and furniture. Additionally, the annual tax on rental income paid by England’s market tenancies totals £3.5 billion – equivalent to £1,000 per tenancy.
Boosting supply is also the best way to ensure that rents are not allowed to spiral out of control, which continues to remain a very real problem for tenants in London.
The Residential Landlords’ Association has written to the Chancellor ahead of the Budget with a number of proposals, including:
- Reforming the way the sector is taxed to encourage investment and recognise renting a property as a business activity.
- Allowing zero per cent VAT where disused buildings are converted into properties for rent, in line with the rating applied to new build properties.
- Encouraging developments on small plots of disused public sector land by landlords.
- Scrapping planning rules being used by local authorities to restrict the growth of much needed shared housing in many areas of the country.
- Auctioning empty, publicly owned homes for landlords to bid for.
- Securing a pro-growth regulatory environment by using accreditation schemes to oversee the majority of good landlords, freeing local authorities to properly find and target those operating under the radar who bring misery to tenants’ lives.
Commenting on the proposals, Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords’ Association said, “The Chancellor’s forthcoming budget is the most important one that he will deliver. With the construction industry on its knees and the economy failing to grow, the country desperately needs growth and growth now.
“As the only housing tenure growing, the army of smaller scale landlords across the UK desperately need much greater support from the Government to unlock the economic potential that considerably boosting the supply of rented homes would provide.
“The RLA’s proposals would achieve such growth sooner rather than later and we urge the Chancellor to adopt them as a matter of urgency.”