Landlords are concerned that Labour’s policies for the private rented sector repeated yesterday in a speech by Emma Reynolds MP will only make the situation worse for tenants.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) says that proposals to bring in rent controls and enforce longer term tenancies will only deter investment in new rented housing at a time when more supply is desperately needed to meet the increasing demand.
In February 2010, the then Labour Government published a consultation document entitled “Investment in the UK private rented sector.” This warned against rent controls.
The document further warned against long tenancies arguing for the need to maintain flexibility within the system. It explained:
“The PRS allows households to move easily both within and between regions, leading to a more efficient allocation of labour and skills. The corollary of this is that if the supply of PRS tenancies were to become limited, those needing uncertain or short periods of accommodation in a particular area would find themselves severely disadvantaged.”
Commenting on the shadow housing minister’s speech, Chris Town, vice chairman of the Residential Landlords Association said:
“Sadly, once again Labour are playing to people’s fears and failing to tell people that the average length of residence for tenants in the private rented sector is now 3.8 years and where tenancies are ended, just 9% of them are ended by the landlord.
“It is discouraging that the opposition are failing also to recognise that official Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that rents across the country are falling in real terms.
“What the sector needs is a concerted effort to boost the supply of homes to rent by recognising renting a property as a trading activity within the taxation system and making it easier for the majority of landlords who are individuals, to develop on small plots of unused public sector land.
“Far from securing the homes we need, Labour’s policies would be highly damaging, further reducing the choice for tenants.”