Housing White Paper:

The rented housing reforms will fail without backing the country’s landlords say RLA chairman.

Efforts to reform and boost the supply of homes for private rent in today’s Housing White Paper will achieve little without backing those individuals making up the majority of the country’s landlords.

The White Paper is forecast to give a renewed push towards encouraging greater institutional investment in the sector despite the London School of Economics having warned that: “even if institutional investors enthusiastically enter the market, individual landlords will remain dominant – as they are across Europe.”

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This was supported by a House of Lords committee report which said that previous attempts to encourage such efforts had: “achieved little”.

Instead the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), representing smaller landlords, is calling on the government to ensure that incentives are provided to all of the private rental sector. This includes encouraging smaller private landlords and supporting them to expand their investment to provide the extra housing urgently required.

Ministers want to encourage longer tenancies in the rental market yet official Government data shows that the average length of time a tenant in the private rented sector has been in their home is now four years. With research showing that 25% of smaller landlords are prevented from offering tenancies longer than a year by their mortgage lender or insurer, the RLA is urging the Government to take action to encourage mortgage lenders and insurers to allow landlords to offer longer tenancies.

RLA Chairman, Alan Ward said:

“Whilst we welcome efforts to boost the supply of homes to rent, this will not be achieved through a single minded focus on corporate investment.  The very fact that a renewed push is being made for such investment is a sign that previous efforts have failed.

“Any plan for the rental sector that does not provide equal support and encouragement for the vast majority of individuals making up the country’s landlord population is doomed to failure.

“Instead the Government should look again at the tax rises imposed by the previous Chancellor on landlords which will only act as a disincentive for the hundreds of thousands of smaller landlords to get more properties on the rental market.”

The RLA represents 48,000 private sector residential landlords in England and Wales – www.rla.org.uk

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