Reforms rely on support for landlords

letting agent fees
Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Efforts to reform and boost the supply of homes for private rent in the Housing White Paper will achieve little without backing those individuals making up the majority of the country’s landlords.

Today’s White Paper is forecast to give a renewed push towards encouraging greater institutional investment in the sector.

This is despite the London School of Economics having warned that: “even if institutional investors enthusiastically enter the market, individual landlords will remain dominant – as they are across Europe.”

This was supported by a House of Lords committee report which said that previous attempts to encourage such efforts had: “achieved little”.

Instead the RLA is calling on the government to ensure that incentives are provided to all of the private rental sector.

This includes encouraging smaller private landlords and supporting them to expand their investment to provide the extra housing urgently required.

Ministers want to encourage longer tenancies in the rental market yet official government data shows that the average length of time a tenant in the private rented sector has been in their home is now four years.

With research showing that 25% of smaller landlords are prevented from offering tenancies longer than a year by their mortgage lender or insurer, the RLA is urging the government to take action to encourage lenders and insurers to allow landlords to offer longer tenancies.

RLA Chairman, Alan Ward said: “Whilst we welcome efforts to boost the supply of homes to rent, this will not be achieved through a single minded focus on corporate investment.

“The very fact that a renewed push is being made for such investment is a sign that previous efforts have failed.

“Any plan for the rental sector that does not provide equal support and encouragement for the vast majority of individuals making up the country’s landlord population is doomed to failure.

“Instead the Government should look again at the tax rises imposed by the previous Chancellor on landlords which will only act as a disincentive for the hundreds of thousands of smaller landlords to get more properties on the rental market.”

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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