With a general election pending and the private rented sector (PRS) in crisis the Residential Landlords Association has set-out a six-point manifesto unveiling what it says is a “positive vision for the private rented sector.”
Arguing that instead of constant meddling, what the PRS needs is “a positive, ambitious programme for the sector, which supports tenants and good landlords, whilst at the same time rooting out the crooks who have no place in the sector.”
The positive view of the PRS is that 84 per cent of private tenants are satisfied with their accommodation – a higher proportion than in the social sector – and that private tenants stay for an average of four years plus. I addition – despite misconceptions promulgated by the popular media – 88 per cent of private tenancies are ended by the tenant, says the landlords’ association.
Its manifesto stresses the importance of the private rented sector: “an important source of housing for growing numbers of families with children, older people, the homeless, students and young people who need to swiftly access new work and educational opportunities.”
Key proposals include:
- improving access to justice for tenants and landlords when things go wrong by developing a housing court,
- supporting vulnerable tenants by ending the Local Housing Allowance cap and ensuring councils have the resources to find, and
- rooting out criminal landlords using the wide range of powers they already have.
The RLA warns of “noticeable rent rises as a result of the demand for private rented housing outstripping supply”, and it calls on all parties involved to boost supply by scrapping the Stamp Duty levy on additional properties where landlords provide homes adding to the net supply of housing.
Rent controls, the RLA argues, should be rejected out of hand as they would serve only to “dry up the supply of homes to rent”, and they would reduce choice for tenants and thereby increasing rents overall.
David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, has said:
“For too long we have let the actions of a minority of landlords who bring the sector into disrepute dictate the debate around rented housing. Whilst we must find and root out such people we cannot let it distract from the positive news in the sector.
“The vast majority of landlords and tenants enjoy good relations, with many tenants staying long term in their rental properties.
“It is important that we build upon this record, ensuring pro-growth policies to ensure a sufficient supply of homes to rent, supporting vulnerable tenants and ensuring tenants and landlords can access justice more quickly if things do go wrong.
“We call on all parties to accept our positive, pragmatic programme for the sector and end the unnecessary scaremongering which is causing many tenants to live in fear.”
The RLA’s election manifesto