Propertymark has set out its stall for next month’s Autumn Statement - and many of the demands are for improvements that will directly benefit landlords.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, will present the Autumn Statement to Parliament on November 22. and the Office for Budget Responsibility has been commissioned to prepare an economic and fiscal forecast to be presented to Parliament alongside the Autumn Statement.
Propertymark is asking for:
Reform of the benefits system: Propertymark believes that the UK Government should use the upcoming Autumn Statement to alleviate the cost of living crisis for many in the following ways:
Suspension of the Shared Accommodation Rate: Shared Accommodation Rate places a cap on the amount of assistance that can be provided through the benefits system. Claimants are eligible to receive money to cover the cost of a single room in a shared house with a shared kitchen and bathroom. According to research from the Yorkshire Building Society, under-35s spend two thirds of their weekly expenditure on essentials.
Uplift of Local Housing Allowance Rate: As the rising costs of energy impacts low-income renters, the UK Government must increase the Local Housing Allowance Rate to the lowest 50th percentile. This will help recipients receive better accommodation.
Reform of Universal Credit: Like in Scotland, Universal Credit claimants should be free to choose if they want to receive their benefits twice monthly or once a month. Furthermore, to tackle rent arrears, the Universal Credit advance should be transformed into a non-repayable grant from the first day of the claim. The current system causes many people to go into cashflow problems.
Make homes more energy efficient: Propertymark argues that the UK Government must issue a combination of grants, loans and help with survey costs to incentivise landlords and homeowners. This can help homes become more energy efficient, ensure the UK Government meets its net-zero targets, and reduce long-term costs for homeowners.
Reversal of Section 24 of the Finance Act: Propertymark is calling on the UK Government to look at landlords as a small business and to allow them to claim 100 per cent of their mortgage interest. When George Osborne removed mortgage interest relief in 2015, the costs for landlords increased significantly and disincentivised the number of people wanting to enter the private rental sector.
Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, says: “With a General Election on the horizon, the UK Government have an opportunity to support landlords, tenants and property agents with the impact of the cost of living through welfare reform, bring down energy bills through improving the energy efficiency of homes and reducing the tax burden on landlords and investors to tackle the demand the crisis in the private rented sector.”
Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.