Landlords support housing supply report

by Sarah Ashcroft

The regulatory structure for landlords could be dramatically simplified if the government adopts recommendations from a cross-party group of MPs.

Members of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee have called on ministers to consider enabling Self Invested Pension Plans to invest in new property and to bring forward proposals to "simplify the tax and regulatory structures that apply to private landlords". The proposals could make it easier for landlords to increase their portfolios, the MPs state in their report.

Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, believes the recommendations could do a lot to help both tenants and landlords. He noted how a shortage of private rented properties means many tenants are forced to pay high rents.

He said: "This report echoes the arguments we put to the committee and are putting to government to reform the regulatory and taxation system which is stifling new investment in the sector.

"The proposals we have suggested would help unlock renovation in run down properties bringing them back into supply and lead to new homes being provided for let."

New figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), meanwhile, suggest landlords are not finding enough properties to take advantage of the strong demand from tenants.

Buy-to-let lending in the first quarter of this year totaled £3.7 billion, which was five per cent down on the fourth quarter of 2011. Although this is 32 per cent higher than in the first quarter of 2011, buy-to-let lending is still only around a third of its 2007 levels.

CML director general Paul Smee said: "Even though buy-to-let lending is running at only around a third of its peak levels, the sector is continuing its gradual expansion. It has become an important part of the overall landscape of housing provision in the UK."

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Published on: May 10, 2012

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