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Housing should top election manifestos

Depositphotos 17999635 m-2015 (1)

It may not be everyone’s idea of the perfect Christmas present, but Britain is going to the polls on the 12th of December. And there are clearly very serious issues at stake in the manifestoes declared by the competing candidates.

Top priority amongst those issues must go to housing argues a story by Landlord Today on the 31st of October.

A major housing concern is the private rented sector. Despite the dire shortage of private rented accommodation and the high demand from those in housing need, the sector is under considerable pressure and at risk of shrinking still further.

Facing ever-tighter restrictions on buy to let mortgage borrowing and the loss of income tax relief on mortgage interest repayments, many landlords are selling up or reducing the size of their property portfolios.

Citing research by the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA), the article reveals nearly a third of all landlords are planning to sell their let property in the year ahead, while only 13% are intending to buy even one property. According to the RLA, the trend heralds a looming “rented housing supply crisis”.

At the heart of the current crisis is the shortage in the supply of affordable housing to rent, argues Landlord Today. It dismisses the solution likely to be tabled by some political parties – namely, the reintroduction of rent controls. Any such move is likely to exacerbate the current shortage, however, by discouraging investment and possibly increasing rents in turn.