If you’re an efficient landlord, you may be offered tax breaks in a bid to improve private rental accommodation.
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Resolution Foundation believe that landlords that agree to a minimum standards agreement should be given incentives to improve their investments.
The two groups think that extra legislation is needed to tackle rogue landlords. They are also calling for the abolishment of letting agent fees charged to tenants.
The organisations have calculated that private landlords receive around £7 billion in tax allowances each year in the UK. This includes allowances for repair and maintenance. However, there are currently little or no incentives for conducting work that takes a home above minimum standards.
Recent research from housing charity Shelter shows that over 200,000 tenants in England have been the victims of revenge evictions in the past year. These evictions are when landlords serve notices on their tenants when they have requested repair work on the property.
However, the CIH and Resolution Foundation found that one in three private rental homes do not reach minimum living standards.
The private rental sector has more than doubled since 1992, with 4m private rental homes in England at present, accounting for 18% of the total housing stock.
The amount of private tenants aged between 25-34 rose from 31% in 2008/09 to 45% in 2012/13.
The CIH’s Chief Executive, Grainia Long, says that living conditions in the private rental sector must be addressed: “This Government has focused on measures to boost homeownership, but with more and more people living in the private rented sector, including more older people, more families with children and more vulnerable people from the housing waiting list, it’s vital that we look at new ways to raise standards.
“The cost of housing means that for many people, the private rented sector is the only option, but too many of them are having to put up with poor standards and insecurity.
“Ultimately, we want people to have a good choice of housing at a price they can afford, so we need to make private rent a better option.”
The Deputy Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation, Vidhya Alakeson, adds: “Many landlords already benefit from generous public subsidy, but, while many of them are responsible, not all of them give anything in return.
“By introducing the principle of getting something for something from this investment, we could ensure that housing is improved and works better for both tenants and landlords. Government should incentivise those who work to raise their game in order to improve the overall standards of private renting.”
Do you think this is a good idea? And would it encourage you to improve your properties?