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Build To Rent will never meet demand by tenants, government told

A trade body says the expanding Build To Rent sector will never be large enough to meet tenant demand and as a result the government should do more to aid buy to let investors.

The Residential Landlords Association - the latest trade group to make public its submission to the Treasury ahead of the Budget on November 22 - says if the government wants to boost supply in the private rental sector it would accept that individuals and small firms letting out “a few properties” deserve support. 

“The government has encouraged greater institutional investment in the private rented sector but evidence shows that this will never be enough to meet the rising demand” claims the RLA.

The association suggests the single largest help to individual BTL investors would be the axing of the cuts to mortgage interest relief - a move already adopted in the Republic of Ireland. 

It is also calling for action on the mortgage lenders who prevent landlords from offering the ‘family-friendly’ longer tenancies that some renters want, and the introduction of a scheme allowing tenants with good payment histories to have them recognised by credit reference agencies.

In addition the association wants tax incentives for those landlords willing to sell properties to sitting tenants, those offering longer tenancies and those investing in energy efficiency improvements.

The RLA believes that where a landlord is prepared to sell a property to a sitting tenant the 20 per cent rate of Capital Gains Tax should be applied rather than the current 28 per cent. 

The association would also like to see unused and abandoned plots of public sector land redeveloped as new sites for rental homes.

“Research shows many landlords have stopped investing in more properties as a result of recent tax changes, instead moving into short term holiday lets or ceasing to rent to groups deemed ‘high risk’ such as the young and those on benefits” claims RLA chair Alan Ward.

“These decisions have far-reaching consequences for a country in the grip of a housing crisis and we will do everything in our power to convince the government that this unfair tax must be reversed.”

Last week the National Landlords Association made an 11-point list of demands in its submission to the Treasury 

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