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Do more to stop private landlords selling up, government told

More must be done to keep private landlords in the rental sector, a new study has proposed.

New Open Property Group says the government should “reverse some of the punitive landlord measures it has introduced, starting by reinstating mortgage interest tax relief and they should strongly consider scrapping the additional stamp duty bill on second home purchases.” 

The group says that its new research shows England is facing both a significant homeless and housing crisis. 


In England, between January 2022 and March 2022, 74,230 households were found to be homeless, or threatened with becoming homeless. Out of the 74,230 households who were found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness, 25,610 of these were households with children.

Over a million households in England currently waiting for Social Housing and with Social housebuilding in England being at its lowest rate in decades, patterns are starting to emerge.

The group claims that since 1991, there has been an average annual net loss of 24,000 social homes. The government’s ambition is to build 300,000 new homes per year, with around half of these being built for Social housing. Despite this, only 216,000 new homes were supplied in 2020/21.

Open Property Group managing director Jason Harris-Cohen says: “The figures surrounding homelessness are more than worrying, especially as they do not reflect the immediate cost of living crisis. It really is a double-pronged attack, with a reduction in available social housing and a crisis in the private rental sector.”

Harris-Cohen adds that a recent survey by Cherry Plc found 28 per cent of landlords questioned are planning to sell their properties, with the potential for thousands of tenants to be made homeless. 

And he concludes: More must be done to keep current landlords in the private rental sector as a supply and demand imbalance creates havoc. When a mass of landlords sell up, it leads to higher rents, less choice and increased homelessness. The government should reverse some of the punitive landlord measures it has introduced, starting by reinstating mortgage interest tax relief and they should strongly consider scrapping the additional stamp duty bill on second home purchases.” 

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    Unfortunately this plea will fall on deaf ears
    Jim Haliburton
    The HMODaddy

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    I fully agree with the proposal to reinstate mortgage interest tax relief. BTL is the only business in the entire country that is taxed in this way.
    If we didn't have to pay the extra 3% SDLT we may buy more properties, then again we may not. There are too many reasons for existing landlords to be cautious about expanding right now. The Rental Reforms White paper and changing EPC requirements being the main specific reasons but also the fact we have been severely battered for the last few years.
    The easiest way to encourage existing landlords to hang in there would be to bring in zero CGT after so many years of ownership. Maybe start at 30 years and gradually bring it down to 20 years of ownership. It's standard in other countries so why not here? With a clear exit route BTL would become far more attractive for the next generation of landlords.

  • James B

    GLWT landlord bashing has become a favourite pastime with U.K. politicians to win votes

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    The abolition of Section 21 is the biggest factor for many landlords, particularly older ones who are fully aware of the problems prior to its introduction. We had assured tenancies before i.e tenancies with Section 8, but not Section 21; they were not acceptable to most landlords. If Section 21 goes, then the homelessness problem will continuously increase.

    Licensing by local authorities is also a reason that landlords are selling.

    The private rental sector may not have been perfect, but it was functioning adequately before Theresa May announced that the Government would abolish Section 21. It then became much harder for tenants.

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    The biggest issue the government now has, is that to fix the shortage, it will have to undo all the policies it brought in over the last few years to, ahem, improve things.

    In doing so they’d have to admit they are the ones responsible for making the mess renters now find themselves in. And we all know how often politicians admit to getting things wrong. So good luck with that.

  • George Dawes

    When the prs has gone and everyone is renting from the government and their cronies just watch the s h t f ….

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    I think we all know what the government thinks of the PRS … 🐑… we are here to be sheared, when this really blows up Labour will be in government 😰😰. My selling plans are set, it would take one hell of a U turn to get me to change.

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    The shortage was caused by the Authorities and continuing with Borough wide Licensing Schemes at huge costs to Private landlords couples with a mammoth of other costs and requirements.
    They got the timing wrong they wanted our business for the build 2 rent mob but not enough of the buildings are ready yet.
    We have a labour government in Ealing with 59 seats out of 69 scatter the 10 among other, their mate the Conservative housing Minister might as well be labour it was he gave them permission to add 15 extra wards to the 3 they had to make it Borough wide.
    Surely increasing costs on landlords is not helping Tenants, some say increase rent that’s only a possible option for a minority of professional well healed Tenants, for the majority who are up against it and struggling, you can’t get blood out of a stone.
    They don’t care about the homeless or wouldn’t have gone down this path getting rid of hundreds of thousands of LL’s and hell bent on continuing with the WHITE PAPER & Removing S.21.

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    Don’t hold your breath Guys, Government, Civil Servants, etc, are not businessmen, and have no idea what makes the World go around. They just sit in their offices (probably at Home doing little or nothing) and think of ways to hammer Landlords without a thought for the knock on effect. If you’re looking for an intelligent response to the PRS, don’t expect it from them.

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    If I could sell,I might consider it but no indexation relief means we would be slaughtered by CGT, followed by another 40% inheritance tax in due course.

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    Never heard of New Open Property Group but they are quite right. Just need some common sense to prevail but that seems unlikely as this all comes under so called "levelling up".

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    This, and most governments, are too stupid to turn things around, they just want short term sound bites. I think things can only get worse, under Labour CGT will probably go up and they may bring in right to buy at a discount on private rentals as previously proposed.


    That surely would be the end,legalised theft doesn't appeal


    I wouldn't be surprised if they tried the ''right to buy'' but I do think they would have to fight for it, no landlord or property owner is going to take that lying down


    If they did go down the right to buy, there would be such a sell off it would make what’s happening now not even register.

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    I'm getting out of the PRS whatever changes they may make... They will make changes, encourage us to stay then hit us with more punitive measures down the line... Once bitten etc....

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    Bearing in mind the outrageous amount of legislation put upon us already, resulting in less control over our own properties/business, the possibility of them bringing in the discounted ‘Right to Buy’, along with increased CGT, would not come as a massive shock! We have unwillingly become their financial feeding bowl.

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    Andrew, regardless of what they do they will meet no opposition for sure.
    What they have done thus far is outrageous and destroy Private landlords.
    Where is the opposite who is representing us, apart from no one.
    We should have a Union or landlord body to represent us.
    We are Portfolio Landlords without a single right.
    We are taken advantaged of, bullied, victimised, discriminated against, taxed, legislations and our Business plundered but like sheep to be slaughtered not a murmur out of us.
    So don’t think it’s going to be any different going forward, only a couple of dozen of us on this platform saying our piece. Mr Gove the Labour Housing Secretary wearing Blue is hardly going to take a blind bit of notice of us, they’ll do want ever they like with us.

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    Probably too late - but at least someone has realised what's going on. Try telling generation rent and Shelter. , like others, suspect it is too late. The Government is walking into a housing disaster with its eyes wide open. RIP PRS!

  • Nic  Kaz

    We don’t have a strong voice championing our cause and anyone who does try to stand up for PRS is drowned out by pressure groups and political opposition- so we are voting with our feet and selling up. Sadly and ironically, it is the homeless who will suffer as a result. Eventually politicians will see they are sitting on the branch they’re sawing off….


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