Labour plans would be death knell for rented housing, says RLA

Labour plans would be death knell for rented housing, says RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has warned that Labour’s plans for new controls in the private rented sector (PRS) would “critically undermine” the sector.

The RLA says that nearly 60% of housing stock created since 1986 has been in the private rented sector.

Analysis by the RLA of figures produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government has revealed that of the over five million new dwellings created between 1986 and 2012, 57% of these have been private homes to rent.

The RLA warns that despite calls by the Labour Party at their conference for a boost to the supply of homes, their policies announced last week would critically undermine the housing tenure that has made up the majority of new dwellings created over recent years.

The RLA says the extra regulations for the sector announced by Labour at last week’s conference would significantly damage the only sector that is boosting the supply of places to live.

Last week, shadow ministers announced plans for:
• A national register of landlords. This is despite the fact that the last Labour Government described a full register of this kind as “onerous, difficult to enforce and costly”.
• Rent controls. This is despite the last Labour government having launched a consultation which made clear that the last time rent controls were introduced they seriously undermined investment in the sector.
• Banning so called revenge evictions with costly new legislation. This is despite the fact that the Competition and Markets Authority has made clear that this is already illegal.

RLA chairman Alan Ward said: “The figures show that private landlords are the largest single investor group in the UK housing market. Without the increase in rented dwellings we have seen, the current housing crisis would be more like an Armageddon.

“Sadly Labour just does not get it on rented housing. Rather than supporting the sector to meet the ever growing demands being placed on it, shadow ministers are looking to make cheap political points by reaching for populist regulations without thinking through their consequences.”