Plans to boost the supply of homes to rent announced in the Housing White Paper will fall flat on their face without support for individual landlords, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
Whilst welcoming the change in emphasis toward renting and away from a narrow focus on home ownership in the Housing White Paper, the RLA says that, as research has proved, institutional investment will never achieve the level of supply needed to meet the growing demand for rented housing.
The vast majority of supply comes from small landlords and there is nothing in the White Paper to support their continued investment in new housing. Instead, the result of recent government policy has been to attack smaller landlords and discourage expansion.
The RLA has further highlighted that institutions invest in large population centres to get the mass they need; this will leave smaller towns and rural areas continuing to face a shortage of rented housing and associated higher rents.
Whilst welcoming the government’s plans to encourage corporate landlords to offer longer tenancies, the RLA has pointed out that 25% of individual landlords are prevented from offering tenancies longer than a year by their mortgage lender or insurer.
RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said: “Unfortunately, the White Paper falls a long way short of the radical changes for renters that we were promised. There may be more build to rent resulting from this in our large towns and cities, but without any plans to support the hundreds of thousands of smaller landlords who make up the bulk of the supply, there will continue to be a major shortage.
“Landlords are happy to offer longer tenancies provided the climate is right to do so. They give landlords certainty and they are good for tenants as rents tend to increase less often. We will be talking to the Government about what needs to be done to address the barriers preventing landlords from offering longer tenancies without the need for a one size fits all model.”
The RLA represents 48,000 private sector residential landlords in England and Wales.