Goodlord launches Renting Done Right manifesto
Goodlord has released its RentingDoneRight manifesto calling on the government to step up its support for the under-pressure lettings industry.
RentTech leader Goodlord has released a manifesto calling on the government to rapidly step up its support for the under-pressure lettings industry. The manifesto, called Renting Done Right, has been created following focus groups and roundtables with more than 1,500 agents, landlords and tenants.
Following these focus groups and industry-wide polling, Goodlord has collated the concerns of stakeholders and laid out ten recommendations for the government. These calls for change centre around three core areas:
- Giving the industry more support, in the form of guidance and initiatives to professionalise the sector and providing increased support to tenants
- Offering the industry more consistency, including simplifying compliance and offering clarity on regulatory timelines
- Offering the industry more incentives, such as balancing risk and reward, reconsidering tax implications, and rewarding effective landlords
Rising desire for better incentives
In Goodlord’s research, a large number of agents and landlords would like to see more robust incentives for industry players. More than three quarters of landlords (77%) said financial incentives should be the government’s top priority to keep landlords in the sector.
Many landlords are also keen to see a reinstatement of tax relief under section 24. This change in tax law came into force in 2020, and means landlords cannot claim as much tax relief as before. 37% of letting agents told Goodlord that reinstating tax relief should be the government’s top priority, and 29% of landlords agreed.
However, agents and landlord opinion diverged on the other top tax incentives they felt the government should prioritise. More than 11% of agents called for removing the 3% stamp duty surcharge. However, only 6% of landlords felt the same. Meanwhile, 11% of landlords argued for increasing capital gains tax allowance - while only 1% of agents agreed.
Landlords and agents desperate for clarity
Key findings from Goodlord’s research also highlight the keen desire for more clarity amongst landlords and agents. When agents and landlords were asked “which proposals to incentivise landlords should be the government’s top priority?”, consistency and simplicity was the second highest answer for agents (26%) and the third highest answer for landlords (12%).
As regulatory requirements build across the sector, landlords - especially those with only one or two properties - are seeking out additional support. 60% of letting agents surveyed said they are seeing more landlords turning to them for support with compliance.
And 84% of letting agents surveyed indicated that the role of social and private housing should be more clearly defined by the government.
Tenants and landlords agree on overbidding, but diverge on rent controls
When surveyed, tenants highlighted the rising issue of overbidding on properties, with 83% agreeing that a property should not go over a listed price or be subject to a cap. 65% of landlords agreed this would offer a fairer process for tenants, although only 53% of agents felt the same.
In the focus groups with tenants, many cited rent controls as a potential solution to these issues. However, more than 40% of both landlords and agents surveyed felt that rent controls would encourage landlords to sell up, leading to fewer properties available.
Industry sentiment a mixed picture
When asked how positive they felt about the private rented sector, agents came out on top; with 65% feeling positive or neutral. Landlords were split; with 50% feeling positive or neutral and 50% feeling negative. Sentiments were the least positive amongst tenants, with over 60% saying they felt negative about the sector.
The manifesto was officially unveiled at an industry event in London on 20 April 2023. The findings have also been shared with decision makers at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
William Reeve, CEO at Goodlord, comments:
“This manifesto is the result of months of work and in-depth discussions from across the letting industry. The feedback is clear: the industry needs more consistency, more support, and more incentives if we want to get the rental market onto a firmer footing. We hope this manifesto helps unlock conversations that help make renting better. The time to act is now.”
You can read the full manifesto here.