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RLA gives evidence to Lords Committee

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

RLA Policy Director David Smith has given evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee as part of its inquiry into the UK housing market.
Dr Smith told Peers that it is the lack of housing, not the number of buy-to-let landlords that is the major crisis facing the UK – and said that the demands on the Private Rented Sector are greater than ever before.

RLA Policy Director David Smith has given evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee as part of its inquiry into the UK housing market.

Dr Smith told Peers that it is the lack of housing, not the number of buy-to-let landlords that is the major crisis facing the UK – and said that the demands on the Private Rented Sector are greater than ever before.

He said: “Unless we address supply radically, there will be no significant change in housing cost. Simply shifting the dynamics so that it is more attractive to owner-occupiers than it is to private landlords does not increase supply; it just moves property around a merry-go-round. We must increase supply. Everything else, to some extent, is a red herring.”

Dr Smith also promoted the RLA’s call to local authorities to free up small plots of land that could be redeveloped as housing, after 46% per cent of RLA members responding to a survey said that they would be interested in helping to fund developments of fewer than 10 units.

He said: “At the moment, there is no pressure on local authorities to release small plots. We asked the two proposed candidates for the new (London) mayor, whoever is finally elected, to look at using their planning powers to reconsider that.

“Currently, the mayoralty’s planning interests focus more on building large institutional structures or large buildings that are sold to private sector landlords abroad. We have asked the mayor to rethink his planning powers to look at smaller plots and to encourage or compel local authorities to make them available.”

He also commented on the new changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax, calling for tax relief for those investing in new build. He said: “We would like to see a change to the Stamp Duty Land Tax to give landlords a discount on the 3% increase when they have done something that brings new-build property on to the market.

“Where they have invested money in new-build property, thereby increasing the overall supply, hopefully, we think that they should be relieved from the 3% uplift that will apply to Stamp Duty Land Tax.”

David Smith gave evidence alongside Nick Jopling, Executive Director of Property at Grainger Plc, Chris Taylor, President of the British Property Federation, Dr David Miles, Professor of Financial Economics of Imperial College London and Mr Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

To read the oral evidence in full click here.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and award-winning Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

1 Comment

  • Did David Smith try to reverse the clause 24 for exsisting landlords. It is crucial something gets done. We have built up our businesses over x number of years, it is full time job, not just 1 or 2 property investment.Just because we have not incorporated it does not mean it is not a business. If I incorporate I will still be doing exactly the same thing/same amount of tenants/same amount of flats/same rents then why the descrimination? The goverment is short sighted ,they just want the money it does not matter who they harm. Goverment are putting up rents by clause 24. Landlords will have no choice but to increase rents not for them selves but to give to the goverment. If the rents are higher the less money a tenant can save for a deposit of their 1st time buy. They think private landlords will incorporate so the goverment can collect stamp duty money and those that don’t qualify or know about the HMRC reg will pay CGT so again they collect. Tenants and so many landlords are not aware of it. There should be more publicity on this on the media/TV/Radio .Accurate facts and examples should be given for people including the MP’S to understand the consequances of this short sighted money grabbing “tenant’s tax.

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