Landlords have been held responsible for many different issues building in the UK.
The Conservative Party blamed landlords for illegal immigration, and has made right to rent checks a legal requirement before any tenancy agreements are signed.
Landlords Blamed for Housing Problems
Labour targeted landlords in the stand against climate change, by enforcing obligatory Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). The current Government is also prohibiting the rental of low performance energy homes from 2018.
Landlords are also being held responsible for the troubles in the housing market, as London mayoral candidate Diane Abbott has suggested monthly rents be capped at half the annual Council Tax band. Think tank Civitas has also supported rent controls.
People may like the idea of landlords being greedy and profiteering, however, more than three-quarters of landlords in the UK rent out only one or two properties. In London, many also rent out rooms in their own house for more income.
Although rents in the capital have risen by 15% since 2011, house prices and mortgage costs have also increased by much more. The desperate shortage of housing is the cause of these issues.
Politicians do not seem able to come up with an innovative solution; with neither side planning more social housing or new builds to increase supply. Instead, they have created punishing regulations for just one group of people.
Landlords may have been accused of causing a lack of new builds, and a high housing benefit bill, however it seems that the private rental sector actually provides support against other shortcomings. Those who cannot afford a mortgage can afford to rent, or those who cannot get social housing live in private accommodation.
Landlords and tenants are also praised on making the best of a bad situation. People who rent out rooms in their homes will generally organise interviews to find a tenant who will be suited to their living arrangements.
The rise in private renting in London, to 670,000 households1, could also be down to the increase in groups such as students and temporary visitors, who prefer renting.
A rental cap could have detrimental and unpredictable effects. Landlords are calling for these measures to be opposed in the run-up to the general election.