Tax breaks 'may lift rent standard'

Tax breaks 'may lift rent standard'

Landlords should be offered tax breaks to encourage them to improve the maintenance and management of their properties, according to a new report

Landlords should be offered tax breaks to encourage them to improve the maintenance and management of their properties, according to a new report

First published in National News © by

Extra tax breaks should be offered to landlords who sign up to a national scheme to raise standards in the private rented sector, housing experts have said.

A report by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Resolution Foundation (RF) said incentives for landlords would encourage them to improve the maintenance and management of their properties.

Private landlords currently receive around £7 billion in tax allowances each year, including for repairs and maintenance, but there is no incentive to carry out work above the minimum standard, the report claims.

The report also warns that more effective regulation is needed to tackle rogue landlords and calls for letting agents to be banned from charging tenants fees.

The CIH, which represents housing professionals, and the RF, which campaigns for better living standards for low to modest income families, said a third of privately-rented homes failed to meet modern standards.

The private rented sector has doubled in size since 1992 to four million households and now accounts for 18% of all households in England, they said.

Meanwhile, the percentage of private renters aged 25 to 34 rose from 31% in 2008/09 to 45% in 2012/13.

CIH chief executive Grainia Long said: "This Government has focused on measures to boost home ownership, 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."

RF deputy chief executive Vidhya Alakeson added: "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."

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said: "We're determined to create a bigger, better private rented sector in which landlords and tenants alike can be confident that they'll get a fair deal.

"This includes investing £1 billion in our Build to Rent scheme, to up to 10,000 newly-built homes specifically for private rent, publishing our new How to Rent guide so tenants are better informed and know what to expect from their landlord, and requiring letting agents to publish full details of the fees they charge tenants.

"But we are also avoiding imposing excessive regulation that would push up rents, reduce choice for tenants and strangle the industry in red tape and regulation.

"For example, the experience of Scotland shows that banning letting agents from charging fees to tenants has just resulted in higher rents."

Comments (6)

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12:27am Sun 31 Aug 14

justsayithowitis says...

Why not build council houses so people are not charged extortionate rents plus there is the security of being able to live in the same property for as long as you want
Why not build council houses so people are not charged extortionate rents plus there is the security of being able to live in the same property for as long as you want justsayithowitis
  • Score: 3

4:39am Sun 31 Aug 14

Rita Jelfs says...

More corporate welfare with no strings attached.
More corporate welfare with no strings attached. Rita Jelfs
  • Score: -1

8:23am Sun 31 Aug 14

Counterview says...

Why should landlords be given tax breaks. Legislation alone should be used to force up standards
Why should landlords be given tax breaks. Legislation alone should be used to force up standards Counterview
  • Score: 0

8:54am Sun 31 Aug 14

jezza53 says...

It will not make any change most will continue to be poor landlords and just keep the money for themselves we need to go back to the fair rent system of the 70,s.Greed is their only motivation.
It will not make any change most will continue to be poor landlords and just keep the money for themselves we need to go back to the fair rent system of the 70,s.Greed is their only motivation. jezza53
  • Score: 1

9:38am Sun 31 Aug 14

westerby1 says...

How about if landlords don't keep their property in good repair, and to a minimum standard, they are fined? Tenants should be able to report their landlord if these standards are not being met. Also if a property is not up to required standard, a tenant's bond should be refunded and the landlord should have to pay their rent, to be housed elsewhere, until the work is completed. Hit them in the pocket; don't offer to line it!

Why does business always get a carrot to try and get it to do the right thing, whilst everyone else gets the stick?!
How about if landlords don't keep their property in good repair, and to a minimum standard, they are fined? Tenants should be able to report their landlord if these standards are not being met. Also if a property is not up to required standard, a tenant's bond should be refunded and the landlord should have to pay their rent, to be housed elsewhere, until the work is completed. Hit them in the pocket; don't offer to line it! Why does business always get a carrot to try and get it to do the right thing, whilst everyone else gets the stick?! westerby1
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Sun 31 Aug 14

bribren says...

The battle to have your deposit returned when leaving is a nightmare. My previous LL is withholding my deposit and has not informed me by letter as to the reason other than verbally the curtains needed cleaning. It takes weeks before you can actually do any thing by court action. And then you need again another deposit for the next place, which should be a transferable deposit which follows your moves instead of trying to save up again and these deposits are usually two months rent amount ie 1200 s mim.
Or a guarantor who is working, which is now required automatically, I do not have a family member other than myself and elderly mother, so what can I do! NOTHING
The battle to have your deposit returned when leaving is a nightmare. My previous LL is withholding my deposit and has not informed me by letter as to the reason other than verbally the curtains needed cleaning. It takes weeks before you can actually do any thing by court action. And then you need again another deposit for the next place, which should be a transferable deposit which follows your moves instead of trying to save up again and these deposits are usually two months rent amount ie 1200 s mim. Or a guarantor who is working, which is now required automatically, I do not have a family member other than myself and elderly mother, so what can I do! NOTHING bribren
  • Score: 0
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