Belvoir calls for government to reverse “disastrous” landlord laws

Belvoir, the UK’s largest property franchise group, is calling for the government to reverse its “disastrous” landlord laws and help bring rents down.

“The Belvoir Q2 rental index, as well as many other rental indexes produced by other agents, clearly shows that the private rental market is under pressure, with tenant demand high and good quality accommodation in short supply – particularly for the family market, where three quarters of the Belvoir network is reporting a shortage of two and three bedroom properties,” says Belvoir Managing Director, Dorian Gonsalves.

Indeed, a recent report by the charity Shelter found that one in three families in England would be unable to pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their jobs.

“Increased rents will only worsen the situation,” adds Gonsalves. “We are suggesting that Gavin Barwell, the new Housing Minister, takes swift action to unpick the disastrous tax policies that were introduced by George Osborne.”

Belvoir warns that the tax policies are “likely to continue deterring landlords from further investment in the rental market”, at a time when supply of available rental homes is limited and pushing up rents.

“In some areas of the country our franchise owners are reporting that prospective tenants are, without being prompted, submitting bids to landlords of increased rental offers in order to try and secure the property of their choice. This is purely down to a shortage of accommodation and the problem is unlikely to be resolved without government intervention,” Gonsalves comments.

“We believe that the government should be taking steps to incentivise private landlords to invest in Buy to Let properties, as this is what will bring rents down. If the government wants to make housing more affordable the only way to do this is to increase the supply of properties on the market. It is completely counter-intuitive to restrict supply with tax changes and then not expect rents to rise.”

His comments arrive as a campaign for a judicial review of the anti-landlord tax policies has been granted a September court date for a permission hearing. If granted, the case can proceed to have its full day in court and argue for the judicial review.