There have been a number of reports and proposals flying about recently. An interesting one just published was commissioned by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
Here Professor Michael Ball of the Henley Business School, University of Reading has reported on recent proposals (for example by Shelter and the government) to introduce longer fixed terms and rent regulation.
His findings are interesting.
To get the full flavour you need to read the whole report but here are a few of the more important points made:
- The proposals would probably de-stabilise the industry
- Landlords would face higher risks and fewer returns
- The most vulnerable tenants would also lose under the proposed systems
- References to practices in Europe ignore key factors such as the greater tax breaks and subsidies available in those countries, and are therefore misleading
- It is already possible for tenants to stay long term in rented accommodation as most landlords want this and will often allow lower rents to good long term tenants – but crucially this is by agreement from both parties and not enforced from above
- The UK needs more homes, not more regulation which will put off investment
This is a good report and makes a lot of telling points (although I have not had time to read it in detail yet).
The problem with all the ‘solutions’ offered today is that they are not addressing the real underlying problem.
The real problem in housing today is the chronic shortage of housing which successive governments have completely ignored (apart from Gordon Brown for a short period before it all went wrong for him).
The only real solution to the housing problems we have today is to build more houses. The problems brought about by an undersupply of houses is not going to be solved by fiddling about with the rules under which people live in the houses that are available.