The Residential Landlords Association has made a last-minute plea for buy to let investors to remain central to the government’s plans for the private rental sector, set to be outlined in the long-awaited Housing White Paper this morning.
Leaks to newspapers in recent days have suggsted that the White Paper will announce incentives for greater institutional investment - the Build To Rent revolution.
This is despite the RLA citing the London School of Economics as warning that “even if institutional investors enthusiastically enter the market, individual landlords will remain dominant – as they are across Europe” and a House of Lords committee report saying the institutional sector had so far “achieved little”.
Instead the RLA wants the White Paper to allow private landlords to expand their investment to provide the extra housing urgently required.
“Whilst we welcome efforts to boost the supply of homes to rent, this will not be achieved through a single minded focus on corporate investment. The very fact that a renewed push is being made for such investment is a sign that previous efforts have failed” insists RLA chairman Alan Ward.
“Any plan for the rental sector that does not provide equal support and encouragement for the vast majority of individuals making up the country’s landlord population is doomed to failure” he adds.
“Instead the government should look again at the tax rises imposed by the previous Chancellor on landlords which will only act as a disincentive for the hundreds of thousands of smaller landlords to get more properties on the rental market.”
The RLA says ministers want to encourage longer tenancies in the rental market yet official government data shows that the average length of time a tenant in the private rented sector has been in their home is now four years.
With research showing that 25 per cent of smaller landlords are prevented from offering tenancies longer than a year by their mortgage lender or insurer, the RLA is urging the government to take action to encourage mortgage lenders and insurers to allow landlords to offer longer tenancies.