It has been a year since we launched RLA PEARL and we have achieved a lot, especially at a time when the political focus on the private rented sector is intensifying. Read further to find out our most interesting research findings of the past year.
RLA Staff and external guest blog posts
It has been a year since we launched RLA PEARL and in this short time, we have achieved a lot, and at a time when the political focus on the private rented sector is intensifying. In this blog post, we review our activities, successes and impacts over this past year.
There is a lot of interest in understanding people’s housing aspirations – after all, knowing what people want is the first step to delivering housing that will meet demand. But aspirations are not just about the physical characteristics of a dwelling; they are multi-faceted and encompass practical and emotional factors.
Our findings are showing that landlord sentiment to the sector and investments is deteriorating. We estimate on top of the 46,000 privately rented homes that have already been lost (MHCLG, 2018), there will be a further net loss of 133,000 homes to rent. We need to move to a broader but fair reform of private renting; with improved access to justice for landlords and tenants, expanded options for security of tenure, and reformed taxation policy that supports not penalise private landlords.
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The latest English Housing Survey Headline Report of 2016/17 shows that Private Rented Sector remains an essential tenure across England and provides homes to 4.7 million households.
“Changing MIR removed confidence from the market rather than the money. Most people probably didn’t quantify the impact, but it was a psychological impact.”
The current top two political issues on the agenda are Brexit and Housing, with increasing attention being directed to policy changes in the private rented sector (PRS). However, our research identifies that government policies are having unintended consequences that could be making it more difficult for many tenants to find a home to rent.
Without supporting investment, removing tax disincentives (like MIR changes) and encouraging landlords to remain in the sector, there will be a squeeze on prices as supply tumbles. If the Government is truly committed to building more homes, the foundations for investment across all tenures must be put in place.
Our survey findings suggest that around one in five landlords (19 per cent) think that the MIR changes will make them less likely to let to under-35s. More detailed analysis suggests that both the impact of MIR changes and landlord responses to them are likely to vary considerably across different groups.