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Landlords could be forgiven for feeling the government has something against them. New tax rulings mean landlords will be losing more of their income by paying more tax, including stamp duty. As if that wasn’t onerous enough, new regulations are being set up including increased use of licensing and minimum energy efficiency standards for rental homes, which also mean additional expenses for landlords.

Now, National Landlords Association CEO, Richard Lambert, is warning that these tax reforms and tighter regulations must not stop landlords from being able to successfully run their business or they will leave the market. Mr Lambert spoke out during a meeting with the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler MP, along with representatives from other organisations in the private rental sector, including the Residential Landlords Association and the National Approved Letting Scheme.

They discussed a range of issues facing the rental sector today, including regulation of letting agents, banning of letting agents’ fees, security of tenure and the setting up of a special Housing Court. People working and investing in the private rental sector face many changes in the year ahead, including the proposal for bringing in longer tenancies and more stringent minimum energy efficiency standards.

Mr Lambert argued that these proposed changes need to support the essential role that landlords are carrying out by meeting the much-needed housing needs of millions of people. Instead of proposing simplistic longer tenancies, he suggested that the government looks at ways to incentivise landlords to offer many different tenancies which cater for the actual, diverse needs of tenants themselves. He welcomed the minister calling the meeting with rental sector representatives, but pointed out that the government has to recognise and support the important role that the sector plays in meeting the housing needs of more than 20% of UK households. He said that the government has shown it will intervene in markets where it believes they are failing consumers, as is evident in its proposed ban on letting fees. He urged the minister to work with the NLA and other organisations to make sure that any regulations they set up are necessary and allow for a fair regime within which the landlords are able to carry on running their business.

Hopefully, the minister and her colleagues will take on board the suggestions put forward at the meeting and work with the private rental sector’s investors, to ensure a future which meets the needs of both tenants and landlords.

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