Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce government spending plans for the next 12 months on November 25 - and he already has a wishlist from landlords.
The Treasury's scrapped earlier plans for a more usual five year spending review and instead the announcement next month will be restricted to one year only, and will major on the country’s response to Coronavirus and the recession.
"In the current environment it's essential that we provide certainty. So we'll be doing that for departments and all of the nations of the UK by setting budgets for next year, with a total focus on tackling COVID and delivering our 'Plan for Jobs’” Sunak says.
"Long-term investment in our country's future is the right thing to do, especially in areas which are the cornerstone of our society like the NHS, schools and infrastructure. We'll make sure these areas crucial to our economic recovery have their budgets set for further years so they can plan and help us build back better” he continues.
One of the first submissions for his consideration ahead of the review, delivered earlier this month, has been from the National Residential Landlords Association.
It says the Boris Johnson administration must follow the example of Wales and develop a system of hardship loans to help tenants cover Covid-19 related arrears in England.
Specifically it is calling for:
- Interest free, government guaranteed loans for tenants affected by Coronavirus. These should be paid directly to landlords and should cover all arrears accumulated since the start of the pandemic;
- Income support for landlords to cover arrears where affected tenants either refuse to apply for a loan or where loans are not best suited to them;
- Reforms to the welfare system, to give both landlords and tenants confidence that payments will cover their basic housing costs.
The NRLA has also made it clear that any move to increase Capital Gains Tax would be a mistake on the part of the government, with research showing this would only serve to freeze the rental market, making life more difficult for tenants.
Meera Chindooroy, deputy director for policy and campaigns for the NRLA, says: “Landlords are not property tycoons and the vast majority have just one or two properties which they often rely on for at least part of their income or pension.
“All of our research shows that in the vast majority of cases where tenants have struggled financially due to Covid-19 landlords have done everything they can to sustain the tenancies.
“However our latest figures show landlords have lost up to £437m already as a result of Covid-19 and have been unable to access any of the financial support available to other businesses.
“Landlords cannot shoulder these levels of rent arrears indefinitely, nor should they be expected to.
“It is time the government stepped up to support to the hardworking landlords out there providing the homes to let that this country so desperately needs.”