Chancellor told to look kindly on landlords who keep properties up to scratch

Landlords who do a good job should have enhanced tax allowances, the Chancellor has been told.

The Chartered Institute of Housing is calling for better tax breaks for private landlords who keep their properties well maintained and managed.

Private landlords currently benefit from around £7bn of tax allowances per year for deductible expenses such as repairs and maintenance, insurance and professional fees, including those charged by letting agents.

The institute says that landlords who commit to a higher level of standards should benefit from an enhanced allowance, while those who do not should either have no uplift in their allowances, or see them reduced.

The institute says this should encourage a rise in quality in the private rented sector.

The CIH is also asking George Osborne to encourage more house building in his Autumn Statement next Thursday.

It wants councils to be allowed to borrow more money in order to build new homes. It wants existing borrowing caps to be increased by £7bn, which it says would allow them to build a total of 75,000 new homes over five years, creating 23,500 jobs and£5.6bn of economic activity.

CIH chief executive Grainia Long said: “The Autumn Statement offers the Chancellor the opportunity to address our long-term failure to build the new homes we need and to raise standards in the private rented sector. 

“We are in the grip of a housing crisis, with millions of people being denied access to a decent home at a price they can afford.

“In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor can take concrete steps to address that crisis and at the same time harness housing’s potential to boost our economic recovery.

“Local authorities would be able to contribute much more to meeting our national supply challenge if government would only give them the tools.”

She added: “This government has focused on home ownership, but with more and more people living in the private rented sector – including more older people and more families with children – it’s vital that we look carefully at new ways to raise standards.”