Both the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Landlords (ARLA) want the government to get rid of the three per cent stamp duty surcharge payable on the purchase of second homes which the bodies say has contributed to the stagnation of the private rented sector.
They also say the policy disadvantages those using a guarantor style mortgage to buy their first home.
The industry bodies have laid out a list of demands for reform of the private rented sector in their Propertymark Manifesto for December’s general election.
In it they call on the government to:
Review landlord taxes
Both bodies say investment in rental homes is falling because of the phasing out of tax relief on mortgage interest for landlords, the additional stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let property and the repercussions of the Tenant Fees Act.
Regulate property agents
They want to ensure that everyone in the industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice and holds at least a level three qualification (the level equivalent to an A-level).
Introduce annual property MOTs
Property MOTs, say the bodies, should replace expensive existing discretionary licensing schemes, improve the enforcement of these measures, and give landlords a steer on how to maintain or improve conditions for tenants.
Exempt downsizers from stamp duty
Homeowners should who are selling up to buy a smaller property should not have to pay stamp duty and be offered incentives to encourage them to move.
Reform the court system
Court system reformation, say the bodies, would tackle the lengthy process of regaining possession of a property. They argue that a potential government ban on Section 21 evictions in England and restricting its equivalent in Wales, would put further pressure on current court processes.
Establish a dedicated Housing Court for England and Wales
ARLA and the NAEA say by setting a dedicated housing court it would cut the time taken for a landlord to gain possession of a property.
Digital log books
They want to see the introduction of a digital logbook for every property bought and sold to cut down the number of failed property transactions and speed up the process of property buying and selling.
Tackle onerous leasehold contracts
The bodies want the government to legislate to ensure developers remedy leasehold agreements containing onerous clauses. They believe this will encourage mortgage lenders to lend to buyers of these properties and further encourage the sale of existing leaseholder properties.
They are also calling for an end to the local housing allowance cap, an improvement in how Universal Credit operates and regulation for short-term lets such as Airbnb.