A mix of tax reforms and tighter regulation for the buy-to-let sector must not prevent private landlords from being able to run a successful property business or they will simply exit the market, according to Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA).
Lambert was among several representatives from other PRS organisations, including the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) and the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), to meet with the Minister for Housing & Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP last week to discuss a number of issues facing the PRS.
The wide-ranging discussion touched on all aspects of the sector, from the regulation of letting agents and the banning of letting fees, to security of tenure and previous proposals to a specialised Housing Court to improve access to justice.
The year ahead will see a great deal of change in the PRS, with plans to extend mandatory HMO licensing, consult on introducing longer tenancies, and make minimum energy efficiency standards less lenient.
But given the importance of the PRS, any proposed changes must ‘support’ the essential role landlords play in providing much-needed housing to millions of people in this country, according to Lambert.
He pressed the minister to think beyond simplistic calls for longer tenancies, and look at how best to incentivise landlords to offer a wider range of tenancies to cater for the increasingly diverse range of what tenants may need.
Lambert said: “I welcome the Minister’s willingness to talk to the NLA and other private rented sector representative organisations. With its self-professed focus on tackling the housing crisis, it is vital that the government recognises and supports the prominent role that the private rented sector plays in housing over twenty percent of UK households.
“Through the forthcoming ban on letting fees and other proposals the Government has shown it is more than willing to intervene in markets when it perceives them to be failing consumers.
“We urge the minister and her colleagues to work with the NLA and others to ensure that any intervention made is necessary, proportionate and maintains a fair regulatory regime within which landlords can continue to run their business.”