Landlord group backs tax reforms to encourage longer tenancies

Michael Lloyd

October 5, 2018

The Residential Landlords Association has urged the government to back longer tenancies in rented housing to support families using tax reforms.

Almost 40% of private rented homes have at least one child living in them, with such families seeking long term stability to settle into their communities and local schools.

The RLA has backed tax reforms as opposed to legislation imposing longer tenancies on the sector.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA said: “Landlords recognise the demand for longer tenancies which provide stability for tenants and landlords.

“Recent statements by MPs suggest that positive taxation to support longer tenancies would gain support in Parliament, enabling such tenancies to become available far quicker than imposing them by law.

“We call on the Chancellor to back this pragmatic proposal.”

The government has already admitted that such incentives “could be quicker to implement” than legislation.

It would also ensure that the vital flexibility the sector is good at providing is retained, enabling those wanting short-term tenancies to quickly access new work and educational opportunities.

In its submission to the Treasury ahead of the Budget on 29 October, the RLA is calling for tax relief on rental income which could increase each year a tenancy continues up to a maximum of five years if the tenancy is renewed. The relief would then remain at this level.

Alongside this, the RLA has called on the government to develop its plans for a housing court to speed up justice for tenants and landlords if something goes wrong in a tenancy, especially long-term tenancies.

At a recent event hosted by the RLA, the housing secretary, James Brokenshire confirmed that it will be consulting on a housing court in the next few months.

The RLA’s research exchange, PEARL, has found that 73% of landlords would offer longer-term tenancies with a combination of financial incentives and court reform.

This is to ensure that they have the confidence that where they provide a longer tenancy they can swiftly regain possession in cases such as tenants failing to pay their rent or committing anti-social behaviour.

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