The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has set out key priorities for the private rented sector which it hopes all political parties will take note of ahead of the general election.

In what it describes as a ‘positive, ambitious’ vision’ for the private rented sector, the RLA encourages political parties to build on the positive developments in the market, including recent research showing that 84 per cent of private tenants are satisfied with their accommodation.

The RLA’s 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 root out criminal landlords using the wide range of powers they already have.

With warnings of noticeable rent rises as a result of the demand for private rented housing outstripping supply, the RLA is calling on all parties to boost supply by scrapping the stamp duty levy on additional properties where landlords provide homes adding to the net supply of housing.

The RLA calls also for a rejection of all forms of rent controls which the RLA argues would serve only to dry up the supply of homes to rent, reducing choice for tenants and thereby increasing rents.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, 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.”