A new survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) highlights the decrease in the number of privately rented accommodation available for tenants.
According to an August 2017 article on the RLA website, around 3,000 landlords were surveyed and 22% said that they intend to one or more property. Only 18% plan to buy more properties. If this trend continues, it could cause a serious undersupply of rented accommodation.
The survey found that 47% of landlords expected to raise rents during the next 12 months. The alterations to the income tax relief on commercial mortgage interest payments were given as the primary reason for rent increases by 35% of the landlords surveyed.
Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA wants the government to change the tax rules for landlords. He said:
“To meet demand, we need pro-growth taxation that actively supports and encourages the majority of landlords who are individuals providing good housing, to invest in the new homes to rent we so desperately need.”
He believed that the government was discouraging small landlords, and he wanted to see their attitude change.
Tom Simcock, Senior Researcher at the RLA has expressed concern that rent arrears have increased following the introduction of Universal Credit benefits. As the rent element of Universal Credit is not paid directly to landlords, this is causing some landlords to refuse tenancies for people tenants who are on benefits. The RLA wants a system of direct payments to landlords so that the levels of arrears are minimised.