Using incentives to improve the private rented sector: three costed proposals

Anna Clarke and Michael Oxley

This report sets out three possible policy options for using incentives to improve the private rented sector in England for people in poverty.

These policies have the potential to improve access to housing, affordability, housing quality and security of tenure. The report shows that the costs of the three proposals is much lower than the £808 million annual increase in tax revenues by 2021–22 that the Government recently anticipated making from restricting finance relief for landlords to the basic rate of income tax.

The three policy options are:

  • Introduce a Rental Incentive Allowance, enabling landlords to offset a proportion of their rental income against tax if they let their property to households in receipt of Local Housing Allowance.
  • Boost incentives to improve the quality of property by allowing specified improvements to properties to be tax deductible against income tax, rather than Capital Gains Tax.
  • Improve access to housing by enabling local authorities to issue vouchers to priority households, guaranteeing the payment of rent.


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