The National Residential Landlords Association has identified five key areas for its campaigning in the short term, as the Conservatives elect a new leader of their party.
The first is for an end to anti-landlord rhetoric and backing being given to the majority of landlords who provide good quality homes to rent.
Former ministers in the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have for some months been outspoken in their criticism of landlords, and markedly failed to counter criticism from groups such as Generation Rent when they attempted to dial up the anti-landlord sentiment.
The second area of concern for the NRLA is over issues that will arise in the student market as a result of plans to introduce indefinite tenancies.
As part of the Fairer Private Rental Sector White Paper, the government proposes periodic tenancies, meaning that tenants can leave poor quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change. With students operating on a cyclical academic year, the proposals have raised alarm bells in the student accommodation sector.
The third and fourth areas of concern are to have firm principles to support landlords to tackle anti-social tenants quickly and effectively, and to reform the courts BEFORE Section 21 powers are removed to tackle lengthy waits for possession.
There is widespread concern that the scrapping of Section 21 eviction powers, as proposed in the White Paper, has not been balanced by a sufficient beefing up of other eviction powers, with continuing court delays raising the spectre of long-term rental losses for landlords unlucky enough to have problem tenants.
The fifth and final priority for the NRLA is whether the creation of a new property portal for landlords - widely considered to effectively be a landlord register - will mean that local licensing can be abolished.
A statement on the NRLA website says that the association believes that unless these issues are resolved now - while proposed legislation is still under development - they could lead to major problems in the future.
NRLA director of policy and campaigns Chris Norris says: “While the White Paper itself recognises the vast majority of landlords are providing good quality homes to rent, the language used in its announcement of the plans was divisive and unhelpful, pitting landlords and tenants against each other.
“The White Paper outlines plans for the biggest changes to the private rented sector in more than 30 years, and the Government needs to support landlords through these, by addressing potential sticking points early on.
“Without this it risks discouraging investment, at a time when demand for rental homes is at a record high, worsening the supply crisis and inevitably pushing up rents.”
The NRLA will be asking landlords to get involved by writing to their MPs to highlight concerns.
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