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Private landlords have no room for complacency and need to improve standards as the private rented sector changes, urges the National Landlords Association (NLA).
Increasing demand for better housing from a wider range of tenants locked out of buying their own homes means the private rental sector must change, NLA external relations head Simon Gordon said in a speech at the Council of Mortgage Lender’s Future Housing Conference.
He also called on banks and building societies to make more funds available for professional landlords to boost their portfolios, so they could provide more housing to meet growing calls from renters.
“The sector is holding its own at the moment, but needs help. It needs a loosening of funding, so landlords can expand their portfolios and buy up properties of inexperienced landlords”, said Mr Gordon.
“This is no time for complacency; it is time to prove the sector’s competence and step up to the mark. Landlords have to understand they will get greater scrutiny from the public as demand grows.”
CML delegates listened to him explain that private rented sector image needed to switch to one that offered short and longer term housing solutions to a range of tenants, including students, young professionals, and families.
“What was acceptable once is not acceptable now. It is a different age for the private rented sector, which is all part of rising expectations,” he said.
“I don’t think the private rented sector is the new owner-occupier market, as most tenants will go on to buy, but while those people are in the sector it will mean a more mixed industry that is more demanding of standards. Virtue will come out of necessity.”
Mr Gordon also commented that everyone acknowledged some landlords offered poor housing and councils should act to close them down – but this was achievable within current regulation and standards can be managed without the imposition of draconian laws.
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