With the number of households living in the private rented sector continuing to grow, significantly more rental homes are needed to meet ever-increasing demand, and the only way to achieve that is for the government to work closer with private landlords to boost housing supply, according to Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association.
Speaking to City AM this week about the role buy-to-let landlords have in providing vital homes to rent ahead of the general election, Ward insisted that a key issue for the next government is how to deliver the rental homes needed to meet growing demand, and quite frankly private landlords hold the key.
“Politicians owe it to tenants to move on from the discredited and unimaginative policies of the past such as rent controls and more burdensome regulation, he said.
Landlords have been viewed as an easy target for political point scoring, but they play a vital role in the economy, as illustrated by a report from Kent Reliance that revealed that buy-to-let investors in this country currently contribute around £15.9bn per year to the British economy through pre-tax spending on running their portfolios.
Therefore, trying to tackle the housing crisis by targeting landlords with punitive taxes is simply not going to work in the longer term and will almost certainly drive more private landlords out of the market.
Ward added: “Instead of demonising the sector, government should work with the majority of good landlords to provide the significant increase in homes needed to offer tenants genuine choice and to keep rents affordable.
“That means a shift away from punitive tax hikes.”