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UK's largest renting trade bodies warn political parties

NRLA and Propertymark

Two of the UK’s biggest trade organisations representing the private rental sector have revealed their concerns over the big political parties’ electoral promises to crack down against landlords.

The Labour party, Conservatives, Greens and LibDems have all adopted similar punitive policies including banning Section 21 notices, proposing restraints on rent increases, punishing landlords for damp and mould in properties, preventing ‘bidding wars’ and requiring properties to reach minimum standards of energy efficiency.

Both Propertymark and the National Residential Landlords Association have suggested in separate statements that while these policies may appeal to renters, they do not fix the underlying and fundamental problem of a lack of supply within the market, pointing to recent Savills research that reveals a million more new rented homes are needed over the next seven years.

EPC upgrades

Propertymark's Tim Thomas (main image, inset) is particularly concerned that Labour’s plan to force rental properties to attain an EPC band C by 2030 will be unworkable unless landlords are given financially incentives to do it.

He says: “While on the one hand the private rented sector should contribute towards decarbonisation, it needs clarity on what financial and practical support will be provided to landlords at the first opportunity”.

Ben Beadle (main image), Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, says: “Renters are being let down by a repeated failure to address the rental housing supply crisis.

“The lack of choice serves only to drive up rents and, given the shortage of alternative accommodation for them to move to, makes it harder for renters to hold rogue and criminal landlords to account.

“We will work with the next government to ensure the replacement for section 21 works for the sector. However, greater security for renters will mean nothing if they cannot find homes to rent in the first place.”