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Using incentives to improve the private rented sector for people in poverty

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation commissioned CCHPR to investigate how to improve the English private rented sector as a source of accommodation for people in poverty. The project explored whether taxation could be used to incentivise private landlords to improve the affordability, conditions or security of rented housing.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have commissioned the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research to investigate how to improve the English private rented sector as a source of accommodation for people in poverty. This project, with support from PwC and a panel of academic experts, explores whether taxation could be used to incentivise private landlords to improve the affordability, conditions or security of rented housing.

The rise in the private rented sector in England has led to growing numbers of households facing insecurity and high costs. The sector also has the highest rates of disrepair. There is therefore growing concern to improve the PRS, especially for families. CCHPR’s recent work for the JRF has highlighted the huge difficulties facing low income groups at risk of eviction and forced moves, often resulting from affordability difficulties and the use of ‘no fault’ (S21) evictions.

There is therefore interest in exploring whether fiscal and non-fiscal measures could be used to incentivise private landlords to improve the affordability, conditions or security of rented housing. Our previous work on landlords’ views of a variety of rent control measures found that landlords were much more likely to consider offering longer tenancies if tax incentives were offered.

In other countries, there are examples of exemptions and reliefs for equivalent taxes that are linked to rent, allocation and quality conditions. There are also examples of capital gains taxation reductions for long term holding of properties, possibly promoting longer term tenancies. This project will investigate the viability of applying incentives inspired by practice in other countries. These incentives for landlords or investors have the potential to improve the delivery of acceptable standards and tenancy conditions to private sector tenants in England.

 

 


 

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Project Start Date

May 2017