Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak continue to battle it out to become Prime Minster, but what will this mean for housing?

Sunak and Truss have talked about homeownership and with the challenges that many face getting onto the housing ladder, but have remain tight-lipped about detailed policies as regards the private rented sector (PRS).

Both candidates have sidestepped the issue of the growing supply crisis in the PRS, which comes at a time when the cost of living is increasing across the board. However, they need to grasp the nettle, if the party’s homeownership ambitions are to become a reality.

So what do we know so far?

Rishi Sunak has stressed the importance of supporting people in social housing into homeownership.

Whether this focus on owner-occupation will be at the expense of the private rented sector, in terms of policy decisions is unclear, but it is a concern.

In terms of housing in general Sunak wants a renewed focus on developing brownfield sites and stopping the practice of land banking.

In terms of taxation, Sunak has not called for immediate tax cuts, arguing that it would drive inflation up and it is simply not affordable at the current time.

He has also made a big play of the need to improve the energy efficiency of the housing stock. He has hinted that he will prioritise insulation for low-income households over new technologies such as heat pumps.

Forthcoming

Liz Truss has been more forthcoming when it comes to the PRS. She plans to revive with proposals to enable PRS tenants to record their rent with credit reference agencies to help them improve their credit score, something which could help them when it comes to buying their own home.

This move would also provide landlords and agents by providing evidence that prospective tenants have a history of paying rent in full and on time. The NRLA believes this to be a good idea.

She has also gone on record saying she wants to make ‘buying and renting property cheaper and easier for people’, going on to say she is ‘concerned’ about the levels of regulation faced by landlords. She is also against rent controls, which she said would result in fewer properties being available to rent.

Elsewhere she has called for the development of low planning zones: new investment zones with clearer planning rules and less ‘red tape’ allowing developers get on with building straight away in a bid to generate jobs and opportunities and wants to abolish centralised housing targets.

Tax cuts are central to her campaign, however her favoured economist, Patrick Minford, has said that interest rates will have to rise as high as 7% to allow tax cuts, something that would have a huge impact on landlords with interest only mortgages.

What does this mean for the rental reform agenda?

The message on the ground, at the Ministerial meetings we have attended is ‘business as usual’.

Consultation on the Government’s White Paper ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’ continues at pace, and with rental reform a Conservative manifesto promise, while there could be delays, it is not likely to go away.

The NRLA is currently conducting what we want to be the biggest ever landlord and letting agent survey on the proposals. Well over 2,000 landlords have already taken the survey, with the responses to be used as the basis for our submission to Government in response to the White Paper and continued lobbying work. You can access the survey here and, if you are an agent, please complete and share with your clients.

What is the NRLA doing?

In addition to the survey we have written to the two leadership candidates’ campaigns teams, stressing the next Prime Minister must address the supply crisis in the private rented sector as a matter of urgency.

The figures are stark. Data shows 23 per cent of landlords are going to sell off homes in the next 12 months.

This is forcing up rents in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and has seen waiting lists for council houses grow. Increased rents mean it will take tenants much longer to save for a deposit for a home of their own, something both candidates have flagged as an issue.

In our written briefing we have stressed this is a direct result of the restrictions on mortgage interest relief for landlords and the stamp duty levy on additional homes.

Since this began to be implemented in 2017 the number of private rented homes in England has fallen by over a quarter of a million and we are calling on whichever candidate is ultimately successful to end this hostility to landlords and take steps to encourage investment to meet the rising demand.

Removing the stamp duty levy alone would see almost 900,000 new private rented homes made available across the UK over the next ten years. This would lead to a £10 billion boost to government revenue through increased tax receipts according to analysts, Capital Economics

At the NRLA we believe a change of administration is the perfect chance for a new start, a change of attitude from the top down, recognising the value of private landlords in providing vital homes to let and generating much needed income for the Treasury.

We will continue to lobby on these issues and question candidates on their housing policies ahead of the vote, which closes on September 2.

Author bio
ben beadle nrla

Ben Beadle is Chief Executive of the NRLA.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Whatever they do it’s too late for me! Two properties sold this year – more to follow. Let a new cohort of LLs deal with the regulations, costs, bashing and disastrous EPC C. Watch out for a housing crisis as many LLs take the same view 🙁

  2. Seems to me that tax cutting is totally at odds with the BoE raising interest rates. Surely one cancels out the other leaving the BoE with no power to curb inflation.

    The idea of raising interest rates to combat inflation is to simply reduce the amount of disposable income remaining for people to spend, when there’s lots of cash in an economy prices rise and when cash is tight people cut out frivolous spending and the belt tightening effect is designed to put a lid on inflation.

    As Tricia points out the huge potential cost of EPC changes are a huge factor in investors leaving the PRS, coupled with all the other regulations that are coming along like the “Pets” issue.

    Personally I reshaped my entire portfolio over the last 7 years, selling off older properties and re-investing in modern (Post 1990) with the result that I now only have one D rated property that is due for an upgrade in the next financial year.

    Now all the work is done I’m expecting to have 10 years of relatively trouble free, healthy returns boosted by the shortage of supply as landlords exit because of red tape and the EPC issues and because of the shortage of supply I will be able to cherry pick the very best tenants, those with good jobs, proven financial stability and of course… no pets.

    Most of my tenants are “Blue collar” Tradesmen that earn good salaries and are always in work. Plumbers, Electricians, Truck drivers etc. these guys also know how the world works and are seldom any bother at all.

    Due to the nature of their employment none are on benefits, do not bother with pets, mostly single and none have kids.

    • We all know that the inflation is being caused by the huge amount of QE and high energy and oil costs, as it was in the 70s opec oil crisis, giving cash handouts is like dropping off a bag of rice it eleviates the problem but doesn’t solve it, cutting tax promotes incentives to work hard and ultimately pay more tax.
      Inflation will go down when our energy crisis is solved

  3. Which ever one gets in its a waste of time if they don’t get rid of Londons Mayor. He’s doing endless damage and out of control, what’s my property got to do with him, this I that owns it.

    • The only way you can avoid Khan and his Londonstan is to leave London

      This what lots of people of white have done.

      Join the ‘flight’
      You know it makes sense!!

  4. The Tories no matter who the PM may be are still hell-bent on eradication of small LL in favour of BTR corporates.

    The Tories are not concerned with the fate of tenants.

    Such tenants will invariably be Labour voters who won’t change to vote Tory if they magically became homeowners.

    So the Tories can effectively ignore that electoral demographic.

    Personally in an ideal Utopia I would wish to see that everyone owned their own home.
    I would have no objection if the PRS disappeared.

    But of course I know I do live in the real world!!

  5. Dave. I don’t know how to do that for private LL you are not allowed to roll over c/gains. I sold a house before but for a different reason it was to get one closer to home, there was nothing wrong with the house it was perfect but you can’t sell one to buy one, same scenario.
    When you have held it for a while by the time you cover your costs and pay the Capital Gains Tax which is a big chunk not a hope of having enough left to purchase another property without getting yourself into a load of debt just add the higher rate of Stamp Duty on the new purchase.
    Been there done that Please explain.
    M Foley

  6. Paul while I agree it would be great for everyone to own their own home I am all for that if they make the effort to acquire such a property off their own backs and not sponge of everyone else.
    Go get your own no one gave me anything and your not having mine for free you parasites WHITE PAPER shit or not. We need someone like Lady Thatcher to close down County Hall.

  7. ” What is the NRLA doing ?

    In addition to the survey we have written to the two leadership candidates’ campaigns teams, stressing the next Prime Minister must address the supply crisis in the private rented sector as a matter of urgency. ”

    Thanks …. and keep writing and nagging.
    How about some press adverts challenging the lefitat anti PRS agenda ?

  8. I don’t think a change of leadership will make any difference to the direction of travel – all 3 main political parties have PRS reform in their manifestos and the tories have publicly stated ‘ we want a housing market that is less reliant on private rentals with more focus on social housing and affordable housing’. I don’t think Truss or Sunak nor anyone in government really understand the PRS. Section 21 was the single biggest catalyst in the growth of the PRS – take this area and it is obvious what effect this will have. The most worrying thing? I don’t think anyone in power has a properly resourced plan to cover the exit of landlords which is sad for those who are/were reliant on the PRS

  9. I am a landlord and have voted Tory all of my life but never again. Do not know why they favour large LL’S who only have one vote. There are two million of us small landlords and with our spouses etc that makes aroun d three million mainly Tory voters who will kick them out at the next election. As far as Boris Johnson goes if he wants to give huge discounts to social housing tenants ( this is our property as it is ex council stock etc ) to buy our houses then a want my 200k bung as well. What is really needed is a landlords political party

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here