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Posted on February 12th 2016 by admin-movingin

Industry body defends private rental sector against homelessness attack

Original Author: Graham Norwood

The Residential Landlords’ Association is standing up for the private rental sector in its response to the government’s inquiry into homelessness.

The RLA believes there are many external contributing factors that need to be highlighted when it comes to tackling the issue, and that it is unfair to simply blame landlords or their agents.

In its response to the government inquiry the RLA says it remains a common myth that landlords or agents acting on their behalf will evict tenants without reason. “We found in a survey of over 1,700 members that only just over half had ever evicted a tenant and 89 per cent had said that this was due to rent arrears or anti-social behaviour” says the association.

It also says the raft of welfare reforms that are about to hit many low income claimants and families are already starting to make landlords worry. 

“In our Welfare Survey this month 66 per cent of more than 800 respondents answered that they are more reluctant to let properties to tenants who are of working age and on benefits because of the benefit cap” says the RLA.

It also adds that forthcoming restrictions on mortgage interest relief are causing landlords to reconsider who they rent to as they need a less risky return on their investment with reliable rent payments and possible rent increases to cover the extra cost.

It adds: “One of the most important things the government can do to help prevent homelessness is to simply increase the supply of affordable housing. The government seems to recognise this, however increasing stamp duty for buy to let purchases, reducing mortgage interest relief and changes to other tax allowances such as wear and tear are clear disincentives for small landlords.”