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ValPal
Small landlords are ‘vital to the health of our rental sector’

Letting agents broadly welcomed yesterday’s housing white paper, which raises many of the significant issues the housing sector is facing, including the need to place greater emphasis on the private rented sector.

From plans to introduce longer tenancies to efforts to encourage more institutional investment to help significantly boost the number of properties available for rent, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) expressed its delight at the fact that the government has recognised that owner-occupation is not the only option available for those looking for a home.

“It is important that we have a housing market that works for everyone, not just for those who own their own property,” said David Cox, managing director at ARLA.

However, Cox believes that the new focus on encouraging institutional investment should “not be at the expense of small landlords” who make up the bulk of the private rented sector.

He added: “Experience has shown that, even in countries where institutional investment in the PRS has been encouraged, it still only makes up a small part of the sector.

“Small landlords are vital to the health of our rental sector.” 

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    I am old and remember when there was a rent officer who could set a rent level on a property that would be for a 3 year period and the only increase could be in rates (council tax now) if it was included as part of the rent. The landlord was legally forbidden from increasing rent during that period. One of these rent officers told me that the rates on residential properties were set from 1937 when the house market was equally divided 50/50 between owns and rented. The rate were based on a rent level at that date with increases in percentage terms base on said rent value.

    We are lucky as landlords now to be able to set rents at market levels and not be dictated to by government. However give it time as what goes around comes around.

    Tax relief on mortgages was removed over a few years for all property owner/occupiers in the mid 70's and 80's and this bunch in charge are doing the same in the PRS. In time the tax relief on all loans will I think disappear.

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