The National Landlords Association has responded to the Labour party’s proposals for the private rented sector, branding them “poorly thought through and completely unworkable”.
Ed Miliband announced last week that three-year tenancies would become the norm if Labour came to power, rents would be controlled, and letting agent fees to tenants would be banned.
NLA chief executive officer Richard Lambert said: “The proposal for a three-year default tenancy is unnecessary, poorly thought through and likely to be completely unworkable.
“Private individuals put in the region of £20bn into providing housing for rent last year. Fundamentally changing the structure of tenancies will create uncertainty amongst these landlords and the lenders which provide the finances underpinning housing in the UK. Were these proposals to become government policy it would strike a devastating blow to investment in housing of all tenures and further constrain supply at a time of real housing crisis.
“We are concerned that the proposals will actually increase the insecurity of tenure for renters. The experience of Ireland, where a similar system of six month introductory tenancies has been running for some years, is that landlords, concerned about the danger of being unable to end a problem tenancy, look to move tenants on after six months rather than find themselves forced into inflexible restrictive tenancies.
“This does nothing to create a fair and balanced rented sector that works for landlords, tenants and agents. Frankly, I’m surprised that, after the effort Labour front-benchers put into consulting on how to make the private rented sector work better, Ed Miliband announces a change which risks putting landlords in a position of conflict with their tenants and leaves future housing provision on a knife-edge.”