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Landlords in Europe – A Comparative Analysis – published September 2013

This Report is an analysis based on the information provided by twelve National Property Owner Associations and brings together details on the rental laws, tax regimes and planning policies which govern the private rented sector in twelve case study countries across Europe.

The International Union of Property Owners – Union Internationale de la Propriété Immobilière A.S.B.L. (UIPI) is the leading organisation for individual property owners and private landlords in Europe.

Founded during 1923 in Paris, the UIPI is an international not-for-profit association. With 29 member associations, the UIPI represents more than five million owner-occupiers and landlords with more than 20 million dwellings in 27

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The UK representative and Principal Editor is David Cox of the National Landlords Association (NLA) (now of the Association of Residential Letting Agents – ARLA) www.landlords.org.uk www.alra.co.uk

European Countries.

Based in Brussels, the UIPI makes representations on behalf of its members to the institutions of the European Union. It monitors developments at both the European and National level and seeks to influence those areas of

European legislation and policy that have an impact on buildings, the real estate market and the private rented sector. The UIPI also takes part in events and Working Groups that affect the property sector that are organised by increasing number of international bodies.

The UIPI promotes solidarity, cooperation and the exchange of information between the property owners associations of Europe.

The Report addresses the main question: “What does it mean to be a landlord in Europe?”

The report is divided into three chapters: (1) legislative frameworks in both the residential and commercial sectors, (2) the taxation that landlords face, and (3) planning policies, including the issue of expropriation.

Some of the Key Questions addressed include:

Is investing in rental property a good prospect for European households?

Are there European countries that have more favourable legal, taxation or planning regimes for this type of activity?

Has the position changed since the financial and economic crisis?

The Following is an extract from the preface to the report:

These are valuable questions that any potential investor in the private rented sector should consider before investing in real estate.

It is very likely the growth in demand for rented homes will continue in the medium to long term across Europe. Therefore, whilst the property market might be seen as a safe option, there are numerous factors that need to be taken into account when considering real estate investment.

The result of the recent financial crisis has been to prevent unwise investments by landlords through tightening the rules on access to capital. Therefore, we need to consider how this same principle is applied to national budget deficits.

The answer is simple: An increase in taxation. Over the last few years, almost every country in Europe has substantially increased property taxation. This has been particularly apparent in the taxation of the private rented sector, where property has become the most taxed asset and renting property the most taxed business in Europe. This is unlikely to change in the present

European climate and within the context of the European Semester.

In addition, many countries are increasing regulatory obligations on tenancy agreements, health and safety and construction as well as energy and environmental standards. This puts additional constraints on property owners and is particularly burdensome on individuals for whom their property business is not their main professional activity or source of income.

The private rented sector plays a crucial part in the economy and private landlords play a key role in housing European citizens. Therefore, Governments as well as the institutions of the

European Union must pay much closer attention to the legislative and tax regimes in Member States’ or risk ever increasing and overly onerous burdens being placed on the housing market.

In order to create favourable conditions for a thriving and much needed private rented sector, Governments must create housing policies that foster housing development and balance the needs of owner-occupiers, social housing and the private rented sector. Favouring any one sector over the others will only serve to distort the housing market and be detrimental to all the people of Europe.

You can download a copy of the report here: www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/Landlords-in-Europe.pdf

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If you have any questions about any of the issues here, post your question to the LandlordZONE® Forums – these are the busiest Rental Property Forums in the UK – you will have an answer in no time at all.

©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved – never rely totally on these general guidelines which apply primarily to England and Wales. They are not definitive statements of the law. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of your case and all documents to hand.

Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

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