Housing White Paper – landlord perspective

February 8, 2017

Yesterday, the Government released the much anticipated Housing “White Paper” which laid out their plans to fix a “broken” housing market.

From a landlord perspective, the paper was notable in its lack of recognition of the important part that private landlords play in housing the nation. The focus of the paper was very much on putting institutional investment on the map as a solution for the whole country.

Many landlords had hoped that there would be some dilution of the Section 24 legislation due to come in shortly, but disappointingly nothing was forthcoming.

Landlord forum Property Tribes spoke to the Residential Landlords Association and the National Approved Lettings Scheme to get their reactions:

In further industry reactions, Steve Bolton, founder of Platinum Property Partners and the Tenant Tax campaign commented:

“Yet, while the government commits to increasing the availability of homes in the white paper, Bolton fears that buy-to-let tax changes due to come into effect in April threaten to “seriously derail investment in the rental sector”.

He continued: “The proposed tax changes will hit private landlords’ profitability and inevitably cause some to leave the market altogether, restricting the number of rental homes available.

“How can the government say they are committed to improving homeownership and reducing rents while simultaneously introducing a ‘tenant tax’ that will only result in higher rental costs, and therefore making it harder for people to save for a deposit?

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) expressed its delight at the fact that the government has recognised that owner-occupation is not the only option available for those looking for a home.

“It is important that we have a housing market that works for everyone, not just for those who own their own property,” said David Cox, managing director at ARLA.

However, Cox believes that the new focus on encouraging institutional investment should “not be at the expense of small landlords” who make up the bulk of the private rented sector.

He added: “Small landlords are vital to the health of our rental sector.”

Eric Walker M.D. of Northwood said:

“Whilst it is notable that the Government recognised the importance of the private rented sector, it is such a shame that the role that small private landlords play was not acknowledged with encouragement or incentives for them to continue to invest.

The timescales for institutional investment to gain traction is more like 20 years, not 10, and, in the meantime, small private landlords will need to continue to be the main supplier of housing that provides an alternative to social accommodation.

It’s vital that the supply line of rental property is maintained while new homes are being built for rent, and small private landlords should be encouraged to keep the supply tap turned on”.

DOWNLOAD THE WHITE PAPER

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