The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is urging the Chancellor to back longer tenancies in rental housing, in order to meet the needs of the growing number of families with children who rely on the private rental sector for their homes.
Almost 40% of private rental homes have at least one child living in them, with such families seeking long-term stability to settle into their communities and local schools.
Rather than resorting to legislation to impose longer tenancies on the sector, the RLA is calling for tax reforms to encourage and support more landlords to offer them to tenants who have already been living in their homes for almost four years.
The Government has already admitted that such incentives “could be quicker to implement” than legislation.
This idea would also ensure that the flexibility of the sector is retained, enabling those wanting short-term tenancies to quickly access new work and educational opportunities.
In its submission to the Treasury ahead of the Autumn Budget on 29th October 2018, the RLA is calling for tax relief on rental income, which could increase each year a tenancy continues, up to a maximum of five years, if the tenancy is renewed. The relief would then remain at this level.
Alongside this, the RLA is urging the Government to develop its plans for a housing court to speed up justice for tenants and landlords if something goes wrong during a tenancy, especially longer tenancies.
At a recent event hosted by the RLA, the Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire, confirmed that the Government would be consulting on a housing court in the next few months.
The RLA’s research arm, PEARL, has found that 73% of landlords would offer longer tenancies with a combination of financial incentives and court reform, to ensure that they have the confidence that, where they provide longer tenancies, they can swiftly regain possession in cases such as tenants failing to pay their rent or committing anti-social behaviour.
The Policy Director of the RLA, David Smith, comments: “Landlords recognise the demand for longer tenancies, which provide stability for tenants and landlords.
“Recent statements by MPs suggest that positive taxation to support longer tenancies would gain support in Parliament, enabling such tenancies to become available far quicker than imposing them by law.”
He adds: “We call on the Chancellor to back this pragmatic proposal.”
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