Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will know that the General Election is just a few months’ away, with political leaders already publicising their plans for the property and private rental sectors in the future. However, this General Election is proving very difficult to predict as this time around there are more parties vying for leadership than ever, which means that landlords need to start preparing themselves for what could be a massive change in the next year.
This is why the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has recently published their General Election manifesto which has the main aim of making “private rented housing a first choice for those seeking a place to live.” Here PropertyQuoteDirect looks at the manifesto in more detail:
The Residential Landlords Association
In some of our previous blogs we have provided advice to our readers on how they can improve their businesses, and in a number of these articles we have mentioned joining a specialist landlord group. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is just that, however it is also one of the largest and most renowned landlord groups in the UK. Started in 1998, the group has centuries of collective experience and with over 17,000 members it also has a vast reputation and a considerable amount of political clout. According to the RLA website, the association is the “leading voice for landlords in England & Wales… Our strength, reputation, experience and professionalism means that, as a member of this most effective campaigning organisation, your voice gets heard.”
The RLA’s General Election Manifesto
As previously mentioned, the main aim of the RLA’s General Election manifesto is to make private rented housing the “first choice” for those looking for a new home. In order to achieve this goal the RLA proposes implementing a number of policies, including:
- New measures to encourage investment in homes to rent, including changes to planning regimes and tax changes that could be used also to encourage the sale of rental properties to first time buyers.
- More rigorous enforcement of powers to tackle the small minority of criminal operators who bring the sector into disrepute.
- A new right for tenants to renew their tenancies for up to five years to provide more security.
- All parties committing to a period of stability in the welfare system for landlords and tenants alike.
Alan Ward – RLA Chairman
Even though the main aim of the RLA is to make sure that landlords’ voices are heard, there will naturally be some that have more power than others. One of these people is the Chairman of the RLA Alan Ward, who recently released a statement concerning the RLA’s manifesto. In it he said: “Landlords want a private rented sector that is first choice and not second best. Our sector is now the only part of the housing sector in the UK which is growing. Landlords have already responded to the growing demand for homes to rent but, with the right support, there is much more we could do.
“Our manifesto sets out a series of policy proposals which would help landlords play the fullest possible part in addressing our country’s housing needs. Faced with financial and staffing pressures, local authorities need a genuine intelligence based approach to enforcing regulations robustly. A national register of landlords would simply become a register of good landlords. No criminal operator would ever willingly make themselves known.
“Our proposal would be more effective. The criminals could not evade scrutiny, and where tenants were unable to identify their landlord this would provide councils with the information they need to target properties of concern – a truly intelligence based approach.”
“Too often, discussion about private renting suggests that it is impossible to support both tenants and landlords. This false choice needs to end. The vast majority of landlords enjoy good relations with tenants living in decent accommodation. Policy needs to reflect this reality and not seek to create divisions that in most cases, simply do not exist.
“We want politicians of all parties to recognise the crucial role private landlords play. If they provide the right framework to boost supply, support the good landlords and root out the criminal ones, we can provide more of the high quality homes the nation needs.”
What do you think of the RLA’s General Election manifesto? Do you think that landlords should play an integral part in the upcoming election? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages!
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