‘Pro-lettings sector’ group may be set up by political party

A Liberal Democrat activist is considering establishing a landlords’ group consisting of party members.

Tony Harris, writing on the LibDem Voice website, says he feels he is considered an ‘evil landlord’ by both the Conservative government and his own party when they promote some anti-landlord policies.

However he insists he is what he calls a “good” landlord who has, amongst other things, had one tenant for 15 years during which time Harris has redecorated their home and installed a new bathroom.

He also justifies why he rents only to professionals rather than benefit recipients, and explains that more tax and restrictions placed on letting agents and landlords will harm rather than improve the sector.

And – in an interesting insight into the thinking of at least some Liberal Democrats – he says it’s wrong to blame landlords for young people’s inability to buy their first property.

Instead he says it’s the fault of overseas investors “who purchase large numbers of properties en bloc as an investment and leave them empty.”

He adds: “Canada’s British Columbia has recently imposed high taxes for overseas property investors and imposes an annual property tax on the same investors while they do not occupy their own property. We should follow suit.”

Harris wants like-minded Lib Dems to get in touch to set up a ginger group.

“If enough landlords get in contact then I propose a meeting at Autumn Conference to discuss the formation of a Liberal Democrat Landlords Association with the objective of giving a voice to the responsible landlords in our party and to act as an advisory and focus group for our parliamentarians and policy makers.”

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