At iHowz we have published specific papers on the potential impact of losing the Section 21 (see here), and have written to the Business Secretary to try to get clarification on energy requirements in rental proiperty (see here).
We have now set down all the requirements we believe will help ‘reboot’ the Private Rented Sector. We urge you to send a copy to your local MP, – it can be seen here
A summary of our recomendatios are:
- A national standard should be agreed for all residential rental properties.
a. Proof of that would be in the form of Rental Safety Certificate.
b. Against that standard, tenants should have the right to report breaches to the Local Authority.
Tenants have inherent security of tenure, and they should not be in fear of eviction if they report unsatisfactory conditions as the Deregulation Act 2015 prevents retaliatory evictions.
- The formation of a property register for all rental properties as an alternative to Licensing (as in recommendation above).
- A Redress Scheme (with refundable fee) for complaints by tenants
- Landlords operating their own portfolios should be required to undertake recognised professional accreditation training and CPD.
- Landlords should have the ability to evict unsuitable/non–rent paying tenants, within a defined period without the need to attend court.
- Non–self–contained rooms in an HMO should not be given an individual Council Tax rating; or alternatively be reduced to 50% of normal band ‘A’.
- The recommendations in our separate Section 21 paper, proposing enhanced tenant protections based on length of tenancy, be adopted.
- Landlords who operate their own portfolios should be given the offer of claiming business status or continuing as an activity (as in France).
- Landlords should be treated the same as other investors and self–employed businesses
a. Landlords should not be required to pay an additional 3% Stamp Duty on each additional property purchased.
b. Similarly, they should not be required to pay an 8% surcharge on their capital gains.
c. Interest on mortgage payments should be allowed in full up to the additional rate.
- They should be allowed to roll–over the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) tax.
- A landlord who houses homeless people should be granted 12 months of no taxation in respect of that person.
- Re–instate the link of Local Housing Allowance to CPI.
- Rogue Landlord / Agent Registers made public as should public access to data on local authorities’ investigations and enforcement on the PRS and social housing
Our principal proposal is a ‘root and branch’ review of the current system, rather than the ‘tinkering at the edges’ of this highly regulated sector, poorly served by an overstretched, legal system.
We strongly recommend that anyone wishing to operate a rental property business be appropriately trained and accredited as they will be dealing with tenants’ homes.