RLA’s Westminster lobbying recognised by ministers

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

RLA campaigns on mortgage interest relief and Universal Credit have been recognised by Government ministers.

The RLA’s relentless campaigning on mortgage interest relief has seen more than 600 members meet or contact their MPs to fight the unfair tax changes, with the Housing Minister quoting the association in response to a written question on the issue.

There is also a full page devoted to the RLA’s proposals regarding Universal Credit in a briefing paper published by the Commons Library ahead of tomorrow’s Westminster Hall debate on the roll out of the scheme.

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell MP was replying to a question by Jim Cunningham MP (Labour, Coventry South), who asked what recent representations DCLG has received on the effect of Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015 on private renters.

He said: “At Summer Budget 2015, the government set out a package of measures to reduce the budget deficit, rebalance the economy and make the tax system fairer. The measures included restricting the amount of tax relief landlords can claim on property finance costs to the basic rate of tax.

“This is an issue raised in correspondence and through meetings with representative organisations including the Residential Landlords Association”

The Universal Credit paper included details of research work in which RLA members were asked about their experiences of renting to those on Universal Credit.

Figures show that 25% of landlords who accepted UC tenants said they were in arears, with 61% of those requesting direct payments experiencing difficulties.

It also details the associations proposals to make their system fairer to its members. The RLA believes:

  • Tenants should be allowed to choose whether to have the housing element paid direct to the landlord.
  • There should be a clear route through which landlords can reclaim rent arrears from tenants on UC and subsequently move home.
  • There should be a way in which to gain “Trusted Partner Status” for private landlords in line with that enjoyed by social landlords.

To read the housing commons briefing click here. The RLA evidence is detailed  on Page 14.

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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