News: Government policy on rental sector is a failure says trade body

Fri, 14 Feb 20

The government has failed the private rental sector says the Residential Landlords Association.

In a statement released even before the resignation of Chancellor Sajid Javid and the sacking of housing minister Esther McVey, the RLA says the government’s failure is evidenced by data released in recent days.

The Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors is warning that private sector rents are set to increase by two per cent over the next year as a result of the demand for such housing exceeding supply as landlords quit the sector following recent tax changes.

The RLA says that alongside this it has been disclosed that just 18 individual landlords and property agents and five companies are registered on the database of rogue landlords for offences committed since April 2018. 

The association argues that this means either the number of problem landlords is not as high as many have argued or local authorities are focussing too much time on licensing good landlords instead of rooting out the criminals.

And government figures released just yesterday show that it now takes an average of almost half a year for courts to process claims for repossession of their property.  

The RLA argues that during this time tenants may be refusing to pay any rent, indulging in anti-social behaviour or damaging the property.

John Stewart, RLA policy manager, says: “This series of statistics clearly shows the negative impact of government policies. At the end of the day it is tenants who are suffering. The drop off in supply caused by good landlords who find operating in the market more difficult means it is increasingly difficult for tenants to secure somewhere to live and they are then faced with higher rents.

“Ministers need to change course and instead of attacking the private rented sector, there should be policies and taxation to encourage growth in the supply of rental accommodation to meet the ever increasing demand.”

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