Over the first weekend in May, the NRLA undertook its second survey of landlords examining the impact of the coronavirus on the Private Rented Sector (PRS). Over 4,500 landlrods responded. Landlords face reductions in rental income, extended void periods and difficulties in getting repairs done. Our members remain supportive of tenants, and receptive tovtenant requests.
Externally produced research commissioned by the RLA
In March the RLA undertook a survey of its members examining how the Coronovirus crisis has affected them, their relationship with tenants and their property business. The survey finds landlords are nervous and feeling somwhat overlooked by government. There was however broad support for strands of the government's response.
The traditional view that the PRS should be a suitable home mainly for younger and mobile households is out of date. The duration of tenancies in the PRS is growing across age groups. So too is the profile of landlords. Research by the LSE looks at how these factors highlight the inadequacies of the current landlord-tenant relationship. There is an argument for reform, but only when backed up by proper enforcement.
The RLA, in association with the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), conducted research in Autumn 2019 focusing on the nation's recent Private Rented Sector (PRS) reforms. A survey asked Scottish landlords - and letting agents - their views on the reforms. The new system was given a cautious welcome: the on-line support for new tenancies was notably well received. However concerns about the changes to a landlord's right to regain possession continue.
This RLA report documents the experience of cities which have been subject to some form of rent control. The paper highlights the inescapable truth that rent controls simply do not work. It does not matter whether or not a city has rent controls - a lack of new social housing and flat real wage growth help explain rising housing costs.
Section 21 has provided an important assurance to landlords that they can regain possession of their property in legitimate circumstances. In response to proposed reform, the RLA launched what has become the largest ever non-government survey of the PRS to establish what Section 21 means to landlords, agents and those supporting the supply of private rented properties.
Over the past few years, we have monitored the impact of this policy, and we have undertaken this research to further the understanding of how this policy is being implemented in the private rented sector.
Everyone deserves a safe and secure home. Poor quality housing should not exist in a modern society. Our research has identified a postcode lottery of local authority enforcement, with enforcement activities differing right across England and Wales. 67% of Local Authorities did not commence a single prosecution in 2017/18.
The research found that security of tenure is not a cause of increasing homelessness from the private rented sector. Most tenancies are ended by tenants rather than landlords. Where landlords ended tenancies under ‘no fault’ routes, rent arrears was the most common reason cited by landlords for terminations. Rather, it is the introduction in 2008 of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) as a means of calculating Housing Benefit payments, and subsequent changes to LHA rates, that is driving the increase in homelessness from the private rented sector.
The aim of this research was to investigate the impact of taxation reform on the private rented sector, in the light of emerging evidence on how landlords have responded thus far.