Nationwide is launching an industry alliance to help support the private rental sector, as landlords face increasing tax and regulatory changes.
A YouGov survey commissioned by Nationwide buy to let arm The Mortgage Works, found that up until now many landlords have protected their tenants from the financial impacts of the changes and not increased rents. However, this is expected to change.
Nearly half of the 1,000 landlords surveyed (44 per cent) are now considering rent increases, whilst 10 per cent are planning to reduce the amount they spend on property maintenance.
Considering that the survey also showed over a third (36 per cent) were still not aware of the decreases to mortgage tax relief from April 2017, the number raising rents and cutting costs could well increase.
These changes brought in by the government to supposedly level the playing field between owner-occupiers and landlords risk reducing choice and value in the private rental sector.
In order to support the buy to let sector, Nationwide is launching the Nationwide Partnership Board which will be backed by the National Landlords Association (NLA), the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), Shelter, Countrywide and The Nationwide Foundation, and meets for the first time this month. It will monitor the health and development of the private rented sector, discuss issues of mutual concern and provide policy suggestions to Government.
Joe Garner, Chief Executive of Nationwide Building Society, said: ‘Being able to find a decent affordable home is one of the most pressing issues many people face today. Landlords play a vital role in providing homes and choice, where they might not otherwise exist. Our research suggests most want to manage their property well and look after their tenants. However, because letting one or two properties is often not a landlord’s full-time job, many are left struggling to keep up with the ever-growing list of responsibilities, as well as the personal financial impact the recent changes may bring.
‘It’s a tough ask to expect small landlords or their tenants to face these challenges alone – we must work together as an industry to better support and inform those providing housing and their tenants.
‘With a Draft Bill on letting agent fees already in progress, and greater powers for local councils beginning to take effect, it is clear that reappraising the private rental sector is already firmly on the Government’s agenda and so we look forward to working with the Housing Minister to help influence a future that works for all. By coming together we can help deliver somewhere decent for everyone to call home’.