Finance and Taxation Reform Press Releases

RLA budget submission: Tax reform needed to encourage longer tenancies

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Landlords are urging the government to back longer tenancies in rented housing to meet the needs of the growing numbers of families with children who rely on the sector for their home.

Almost 40 per cent of private rented homes have at least one child living in them, with such families seeking long term stability to settle into their communities and local schools.

Rather than resorting to legislation to impose longer tenancies on the sector, where tenants have already been living in their rented homes for almost four years, the RLA is calling for tax reforms to encourage and support more landlords to offer them.

The government has already admitted that such incentives “could be quicker to implement” than legislation.

It would also ensure that the vital flexibility the sector is good at providing is retained, enabling those wanting short term tenancies to quickly access new work and educational opportunities.

In its submission to the Treasury ahead of the Budget on 29thOctober, the RLA is calling for tax relief on rental income which could increase each year a tenancy continues up to a maximum of five years if the tenancy is renewed. The relief would then remain at this level.

Alongside this, the RLA is calling on the Government to develop its plans for a housing court to speed up justice for tenants and landlords if something goes wrong in a tenancy, especially long term tenancies.

At a recent event hosted by the RLA, the Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire confirmed that it will be consulting on a housing court in the next few months.

The RLA’s research exchange, PEARL, has found that 73 per cent of landlords would offer longer-term tenancies with a combination of financial incentives and court reform to ensure that they have the confidence that where they provide a longer tenancy they can swiftly regain possession in cases such as tenants failing to pay their rent or committing anti-social behaviour.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA said: “Landlords recognise the demand for longer tenancies which provide stability for tenants and landlords.

“Recent statements by MPs suggest that positive taxation to support longer tenancies would gain support in Parliament, enabling such tenancies to become available far quicker than imposing them by law.

“We call on the Chancellor to back this pragmatic proposal.”

To read the budget submission in full visit

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.


  • I’m a landlord at present I’m about to to sell my property do I have to tell the tax man
    Or does anyone who has a private property
    mandatory has to declare it
    Please explain thanks

    • If it is a rental property then yes, you normally have to inform the tax man as there is a potential profit from purchase to sale price. If you are selling your own home (that you live in) then no, you don’t.
      If you would like to discuss this further please contact our advice team on 03330 142 998.

  • Why should landlords who cater for tenants who want shorter-term tenancies be penalised by the tax system? And why should landlords lose the right to offset finance costs when a long-term tenant leaves? This is all wrong. Section 24 needs to be abolished completely and not in a piecemeal way. It looks like these kinds of bargaining tactics may have played right into the hands of the anti-landlord brigade – with landlords most likely being forced to implement minimum 3-year tenancies – with huge implications – not least lenders being able to call in loans for breach of contract – whilst we are unlikely to benefit from any ‘carrot.’

  • Ridiculous that the RLA is calling for concessions in return for more difficult circumstances for landlords. S24 should be abolished entirely as should any idea of longer-term tenancies without proper and rigorous protections in favour of the landlord. Stop making weak offers and start fighting hard against Shelter and the lunacy of government!

  • I don’t think the RLA is doing landlords any favours by promoting this kind of tinkering with the tax system, this creates an unlevelled playing field for landlords who do not have longer tenancies due to the nature of their tenancies or simply do not wish to offer a longer term tenancy. I am completely against this proposal and the one about reduced capital gains tax for long term tenants who buy the landlords property.
    This is not morally correct, the tax payable should be the same for all landlords and we should not be induced to sell ourselves for tax advantages to satisfy Government needs. I think it’s a disgrace that the RLA advocate this. I am an RLA member for over 25 years.

    • Hi Jim, thanks for your comment. The government has made it clear it is not going to reverse MIR or SDLT changes and is committed to bringing in longer tenancies. We don’t want them to be compulsory, so are proposing a flexible system. Unfortunately not all members will agree with all our policies, but we believe this is the best deal we can persuade government to deliver in the current climate.

      • Hi Victoria,
        Regardless of the Governments decision about MIR and Stamp duty I would never then say that it is ‘then acceptable to compromise the position of a landlord’ so that one Landlord is favoured over another for a tax advantage. This is called selling yourself out (or rather the landlord community out). Once landlords start to adopt the take up of these “tax deals” then the other landlords will have to follow, they are then selling out their landlords rights and positions because they feel that they have no option.
        If we take the “train of thought” of accepting tax breaks for favours to the Government then what next, tax relief if you keep your rent below a certain level? tax relief if you only put your rent up every 2 years? tax relief if you take a particular type of tenant? tax relief if you don’t take a deposit?

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