As we head toward the final days of the election, the RLA have perfectly summarised the 6 things that every landlord wants from the new government:
In a well articulated statement they demand a more positive approach to the Private Rented Sector, read more here....
Increasing numbers of tenants in receipt of benefits now rely on the private rented sector for a place to live. RLA research3 shows that Universal Credit is causing rent arrears. We need to do all we can to support claimants to secure the housing they need. We call for an end to the Local Housing Allowance Cap so it properly reflects the cost of renting and to trust tenants by letting Universal Credit claimants have the option of the housing element being paid directly to their landlord.
The High Court has said4 that the Right to Rent scheme has "little or no effect" in controlling immigration and any positives were "significantly outweighed by the discriminatory effect". The policy should be scrapped altogether.
Tenants and landlords are being badly served by a court system unable to provide justice swiftly or effectively in the minority of cases where things go wrong. RLA research5 has shown that 79% of landlords who have used the courts to regain possession of a property have no confidence in them. Citizens Advice has found6 that many tenants are put off seeking redress through the courts because of the time and complexity of the court process. Tinkering with the existing system will do little to address its complexities or deal with the problems caused by the Government"s court closure programme. We call for the development of an expert, properly funded and staffed, housing court to provide justice swiftly and effectively.
There are over 150 Acts of Parliament containing more than 400 regulations affecting the private rented sector. What is needed is not more regulation, but better enforcement of the powers already available. We call on councils to scrap licensing schemes which serve only to penalise good landlords whilst enabling the criminals to operate under the radar. Instead they should use the wide range of data already available to them, including council tax, benefits, tenancy deposit and electoral roll information to identify landlords. This needs to be backed up by central government providing a multi-year funding settlement to properly resource enforcement teams.
Rent Controls have been shown internationally to dry up the supply of homes to rent, reducing choice for tenants and thereby increasing rents overall.7 As the Acting Director of the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research has noted8, she is "very dubious that rent control could help tenants and not reduce the stock of rental properties."
84% of sector tenants are satisfied or very satisfied with their current accommodation, a higher proportion than the social rented sector9. Rather than a problem requiring management, good landlords in the private rented sector should be seen as part of the answer to the housing crisis, alongside other types of accommodation.
For further information please contact Ed Jacobs by ringing 0113 278 0211
1 Knight Frank, Multihousing 2019 - PRS Report, February 2019, available HERE.
2 RICS, Uncertainty causing buyers and vendors to hesitate,10th October 2019, available HERE.
3 RLA and Edge Hill University, State of the PRS (Q1 2019) - A survey of private landlords and the impact of welfare reforms, July 2019, available HERE.
4 BBC News Online, 'Right to rent' checks breach human rights - High Court, 1st March 2019, available HERE.
8 BBC News Online, Rent control: Does it work?, 3rd February 2019, available HERE.
Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.