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Don’t demonise landlords – call to next government

Tuesday 30 May 2017

A key issue at the impending General Election should be how government can work with landlords to deliver the rental homes needed to meet ever-increasing demand, the chairman of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has said. 

With over 25 per cent of all London homes in the private rented sector, RLA boss Alan Wall says politicians ‘owe it to tenants’ to abandon ‘discredited and unimaginative policies of the past’ and ‘work with the majority of good landlords’ to meet the growing challenge.

He is calling for a move away from ‘punitive tax hikes’ after recent increases hit the private rented sector hard, with two-thirds of RLA members saying they do not plan on purchasing any additional properties and 58 per cent considering shrinking their portfolio. 

Former Bank of England official David Miles has calculated that landlords would need to increase rents by 20-30 per cent simply to recoup extra costs from these rising taxes.

Mr Wall calls for a raft of changes to reverse policies created by former chancellor George Osborne, such as scrapping the three per cent stamp duty levy on additional homes. 

He wrote: “It is crazy to have a tax that discourages investment in new homes.”

Similarly rent controls would do nothing to address the ‘root problem’ and could lead to ‘a reduction in quality housing.’

Mr Wall also calls for whoever forms the next government to cut back on excessive regulation, speed up the time it takes for landlords to repossess their property and introduce housing courts to settle disputes and deliver justice for both landlords and tenants.

Writing in City AM, Mr Wall states: The next government needs to get behind those individuals and small companies that make up the vast bulk of the country’s landlords.

“It is time to see them as part of the solution to our housing crisis and not part of the problem.”

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