Ministers welcome proposals to boost private rented sector
Government ministers have welcomed proposals to boost the private rented sector by easing planning restrictions and encouraging investment.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps says the report compiled by Sir Adrian Montague provides a blueprint for building more good quality homes.
Most of the private sector in the UK is managed by individual landlords. This is likely to remain the case but Sir Adrian’s report says there is potential for much greater investment in larger developments.
He puts forward a number of recommendations to streamline the planning system and to help speed up the timescale for building privately rented homes.
The main proposals are:
- That councils use flexibilities in the planning system to plan for and enable developments of privately rented homes where they can meet local need. This could include waiving affordable housing requirements on new developments of homes specifically for private rent, or reviewing stalled sites to see whether some of the new homes planned could be made available to rent rather than sell;
- That a task force be set up to encourage and support build-to-let investment from the private sector, and to develop voluntary standards that future landlords would meet and tenants could expect;
- That the Government look to provide a number of targeted incentives to encourage the development of Build-to-Let business models, which could include sharing development risk in the short-term to get spades in the ground and building started;
- That the Government allocate some of the redundant, formerly used public sector land and buildings being released for house building to build-to-let development, and publish data on how this is done;
- That the Government work with councils and the Greater London Authority to identify a number of sites where there is good demand for rental housing and make them available to developers on the grounds that a proportion of the homes built be let out to tenants.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: “We're determined to encourage greater investment in the build-to-let market and boost the country's Private Rented Sector, which plays an integral role in meeting the nation's housing needs and aspirations.
"A major part of this is to attract and encourage new players to the market, while at the same time avoiding the excessive regulation that would force up rents and reduce choice for tenants.
"Sir Adrian Montague's findings offer both a blueprint for achieving this goal, and for setting the standards of accommodation that people should expect. I will be considering his recommendations very carefully."
The Government will put forward a formal response to the proposals later this year. We shall keep clients informed of developments.
Please contact Eugene Pritchard or Hugh Beeley if you would like legal advice about commercial property and development issues.