Landlords feel let down by Government
Almost 90 per cent of landlords feel the Government’s White Paper on rental reform demonstrates an anti-landlord agenda, according to new research by the NRLA.
The NRLA surveyed 3,500 landlords immediately after publication of the document ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’, and while the full data set is still being analysed, early indications are that landlords have serious concerns about where proposed changes will lead.
When questioned, 87 per cent said the White Paper and Government rhetoric are hostile towards landlords, 77 per cent said proposals represent a serious risk to landlords’ businesses and 71 per cent said they felt they were being driven out of the sector.
The loss of Section 21 and the reform of repossession grounds and the impact of the abolition of fixed term tenancies - particularly on student landlords - are among major areas of concern
More than half of all landlords say that are worried about the plans to axe fixed term tenancies, a figure rising to just over 84 per cent among student landlords, whose business model relies on fixed term tenancies.
Where the loss of Section 21 is concerned, 72 per cent of landlords believe the proposed reforms to repossession grounds do not balance the loss of Section 21 - with 18 per cent of landlords saying that without it they will no longer be able to operate.
The NRLA believes this could have a catastrophic impact on the supply of homes to let at a time when demand is continuing to grow.
What happens next
It is unclear as yet whether a change of personnel in Government will have an impact on the proposals included in the White Paper, with Government work currently on hold for a period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week.
With the loss of Section 21 a Conservative manifesto pledge it is unlikely there will be a u-turn. however it was made clear the Government would be giving stakeholders – including the NRLA – the opportunity to respond the proposals before any Bill is put forward.
The NRLA has already attended Government roundtables to do just that, asking Ministers to:
- End the anti-landlord rhetoric and back the majority of landlords providing good quality home to rent
- Address issues that will arise in the student market as a result of plans to introduce indefinite tenancies
- Come up with firm principles as to how councils and police can support landlords to tackle anti-social tenants quickly and effectively
- Reform the courts BEFORE Section 21 powers are removed to tackle lengthy waits for possession
- Abolish local licensing once the new property portal is introduced
It has also submitted written evidence to Government, with Chief Executive Ben Beadle addressing a the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee on the issue earlier this month.
The results of the rental reform research will give the association the evidence it needs to prove to Government that the proposals, as they stand, could see landlords quit the market, exacerbating the current housing crisis, something that is vital if we are to bring about positive change.
- The NRLA is continuing to encourage members to get involved in the campaign by writing to their MPs outlining ways in which the Government's proposed changes will affect them and their businesses. There are a number of ways to do this, by writing a letter, sending an email or contacting them via social media. The NRLA has a handy tool allowing you to identify and contact your MP, which can be accessed here.
- For the full findings of the rental reform research project keep an eye on the NRLA news site and social media channels.