Housing Proposals:

A new report published by the University of Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning, in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), recognises the reluctance of many landlords to let their properties to low income tenants.

Given the apparent lack of support from government for small-scale private rented sector (PRS) landlords in this area, this report has produced three proposals which it claims could incentivise private landlords to let to social sector tenants, those claiming benefits.

Many benefit claiming tenants – singles and families – are having great difficulty securing rental accommodation in the private rented sector, and also in the social sector, given the decline of social sector housing.

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The report claims that these proposals if implemented would improve accessibility, affordability, quality and security of housing for people in poverty in the PRS.

The proposals follow an international policy review of housing reform, and the contributing parties have identified key measures for further development in England:

(Proposal 1)

“The introduction of a Rental Incentive Allowance, enabling landlords to offset a proportion of their rental income against tax if they let their property to households in receipt of Local Housing Allowance. According to the report, this option would enable more people in poverty and with low incomes to access a larger range of more affordable private sector rented accommodation.”

(Proposal 2)

“Boosting incentives to improve the quality of property by allowing specified improvements to properties to be tax deductible against income tax, rather than Capital Gains Tax. This proposal could also incentivize landlords to take further action in improving the quality of accommodation on offer to low-income households, while also making improvements on measures such as energy efficiency, reducing fuel bills and other costs that would improve affordability.”

(Proposal 3)

“Improving access to housing by enabling local authorities to issue vouchers to priority households, guaranteeing the payment of rent. This measure could incentivise landlords to accept tenants viewed as a higher risk, making it easier for them to access accommodation.”

Cost Effective Measures?

The three proposals have been costed at: Proposal 1, £354 million a year; Proposal 2, £36 million in its first year, rising gradually to £86 million per year after nine years, and Proposal 3, £170 million per year.

By focusing on the use of taxation as a means of changing incentives for landlords in the PRS, the report claims the costs associated with the three proposals could be offset by HM Treasury’s recent tax increases implemented on private landlords.

The Government has anticipated an £808 million annual increase in tax revenues from landlords by 2021–22 through restricting mortgage finance interest relief to the basic rate of income tax.

The current Government is already in principle considering ways to incentivise landlords to offer longer tenancies.

Read the report here

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  1. Government can give as many incentives as they like but it will not change the a thing. The taxation ontop of EPC changes by 2020 is putting landlords at breaking point. Friend handed portfolio of 23 properties back to bank and went bust. Know of quite a few more folowing suit. At the end of the day it is better to have a job thats pays instead of stress of managing portfolio when the government is chopping and changing quicker than a tenant changes a tenancy agreement.

  2. The ONLY incentive needed is to allow L to evict ANY tenant who defaults on their rent after 1 month of default
    This means the day after rent is due they can be removed by police if they refuse to go,
    In practice few LL would actually evict the day after the 1st missed rent payment.
    But it would concentrate the minds of tenants and councils.
    No more waiting until the bailiffs come to evict you.
    For all other circumstances the normal eviction process can continue.
    This will mean that providing they continue to pay the rent on time and in full they can wait for the bailiffs to evict.
    This has the advantage that by paying the rent the tenants won’t be considered by the council as making themselves intentionally homeless.
    Councils would need to use DHP to ensure LL pay the market rent and not the unacceptable LHA rate.
    This would be far cheaper than TA cost.
    LL would commit not to increase the rent for 1 year.
    Most LL would work with tenant and councils to keep the tenant housed.
    Until LL can get rid of tenants who default on rent quickly LL will increasingly refuse to take on HB tenants who tend to have the most problems in paying the rent.

  3. whatever the government do they need to do it quick. I am selling up and all the landlords I know are following suit, mostly at one per year to keep CGT to minimum. once we are gone we are not coming back. our age and the appalling treatment we are now experiencing from this government will prevent that. I’ll keep one or two for a pension.


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