Landlord Blog: Shape up or ship out?

Published: 29/04/2014

News that a third of private rented properties are below decent home standards has prompted calls for landlords letting substandard homes to forfeit tax breaks. In his latest blog, Rob Denman debates what this could mean for the PRS as a whole.

“As landlords we often moan about the state a tenant leaves our property in after they have moved out. However it now seems many landlords are just as culpable after analysis revealed a third of private lets would fail to meet the government’s decency standards.

“This is clearly a problem. Substandard homes are a risk to tenant’s health and safety; mould and damp, for example, can be the source of many health problems including asthma and allergies. So with this in mind is the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) right to call for tax cuts for landlords who standards are on par with Wayne and Waynetta?

“The CIH believes the threat of potential cuts would encourage landlords to invest in their properties but is it really so straightforward? Call me sceptical but I doubt it.

“And I’m not alone in my cynicism; the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has warned such penalties could ‘hamper the supply of privately rented homes’. Given the existing imbalance between supply and demand, anything that tips the scales further is a worry.

“This is certainly a problem which needs addressing though – it shouldn’t be a case of a poor property or no property. So what’s the solution? The RLA seems to think the answer lies in boosting supply.

“This makes sense – if there is an increased number of properties out there, tenants have more of a choice. If they have more of a choice then the onus is on landlords to spruce the place up and make their property stand out from the crowd. But in order to make this happen there needs to be more support for landlords, not less.”

Rob DenmanRob Denman is a solicitor and Head of GW LET (Landlord Empowerment Team), specialising in such landlord legal issues as rent arrears, tenant eviction and tenancy deposit disputes. In his spare time Rob enjoys watching football and running. He is currently training for his second half marathon.

Content correct at time of publication

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