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By Allison Thompson

National Lettings Managing Director, Leaders Romans Group (LRG)


PRS crying out for fiscal reform, says LRG

In the second of their Election Wishlist series, Leaders Romans Group turn the spotlight on the Private Rented Sector (PRS).
Here, National Lettings managing director, Allison Thompson, sets out the challenges facing the next government and offers some solutions.

Fiscal reform for the private rented sector
We’ve already seen some landlords leaving the private rented sector because of substantially increased taxes. To compensate for the losses incurred through additional regulation and interest rates rises, taxation must be addressed as a matter of urgency. Property lets are the only businesses in the UK which do not have taxes off-set: the playing field must be levelled.

Greater appreciation for the role that the private rented sector plays in addressing homelessness
Politicians – of all parties – seem to be oblivious of the role that the private rented sector plays in providing housing for those who may be homeless due to a lack of council / social housing – a deficit which is growing by the day. A change in focus – from penalising 'rogue landlords' to encouraging the many fair and honest landlords is much needed.

Energy efficiency demands made of landlords
Landlords are currently in a limbo when it comes to EPCs – the requirement to achieve a grade C has been scrapped, for now. Making energy efficiency structural changes is a long term process which needs to be managed around rental voids and so landlords need a clearer timeframe for any future change. Consideration also needs to be given to whether the requirements are reasonable in the light of growing costs to landlords.

Rental reform
The failure of the much-anticipated Renters (Reform) Bill to pass into law is a significant setback for both landlords and tenants. While many of the Bill's provisions were contentious - including concerns over periodic tenancies, the abolition of Section 21 and the associated issues of court delays along with the inclusion of the right to request a pet - we believed that continued dialogue and amendments would have addressed the concerns of all stakeholders, ultimately benefiting the rental market.

The failure to pass the Bill highlights the need for comprehensive housing policies that provide stability and address the critical issues facing the sector, principally the undersupply of good-quality rental homes.

As the UK faces a housing crisis, it is imperative that the incoming government prioritises housing policies that ensure stability and long-term solutions. Over the past 13 years, there have been 16 different housing ministers, demonstrating a lack of continuity and commitment. We urge the next administration to place housing at the heart of its agenda, providing the consistency and long-term focus that the sector desperately needs.


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