Over a period of six months, the National Federation of Property Professionals – an organisation which promotes higher standards for the property industry – met with professionals, politicians, experts, and campaigners in order to find out the hopes and fears for the housing sector. Three main concerns were identified: lack of supply, the need for more regulation, and property taxes.
The decline in house building was highlighted, showing that there over 100,000 more homes built in 1979/80 than in 2013/14. As a result, demand today vastly outstrips supply in the private rented sector.
They urge the government to resist calls for three-year tenancies, as, according to their research, the average tenancy last between 18 and 24 months. Therefore, introducing such measures would restrict the flexibility that tenants and landlords currently take advantage of.
They want it to be compulsory for letting agents to be members of a client-money protection scheme. Greater regulation for letting agents, they say, “will ensure fairness, a level playing field and the removal of those agents that bring the industry into disrepute.” However, they warn that banning letting agent fees would lead in higher rents.
Lastly, they call for Capital Gains Tax to be limited to gains released from a business as profit, allowing landlords the same tax relief available to other businesses when reinvesting in the sector.