Boris Johnson will become the UK’s next Prime Minister, so what does this mean for housing – and in particular the private rented sector?
While both Johnson and Hunt have remained tight-lipped on plans regarding housing and the PRS, we can look to his record as London Mayor and to a lesser extent to his Telegraph column to find out more on his stance.
Boosting home ownership is likely to remain a priority, as it is with the current government, with the new PM on record saying the comparatively low levels of home-ownership among the under 40s are a ‘disgrace’.
He has hinted at extending right-to-buy and in his Telegraph column called for the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers.
Despite this he has criticised councils for insisting on affordable homes as part of new build schemes – something he said is constraining development.
In terms of the PRS, when London Mayor, Johnson promised a blue badge ‘kitemark’ for landlords and rental homes and introduced the London Rental Standard.
Both were partly voluntary and made little impact.
One position he has been clear on, however is his attitude to rent controls – which he has said will only ‘deter investors at a time when more, not less, investment is needed’ – a view shared by the RLA.
He has also opposed ‘over-regulation’ of the sector.
In June 2014 he used Mayor’s Question Times in London to say: “I do not want to get into the business of trying to over-regulate a market that needs to develop.
“We need to expand the supply of private rented accommodation in London and we need to encourage investors to help us build hundreds of thousands more homes in London, many of them for private rent as well as for affordable rent.”
Housing experts on ‘team Boris’
Current housing minister Kit Malthouse worked with Johnson at the London Assembly, and has supported him in the leadership campaign.
Similarly, former housing ministers James Brokenshire, Alok Sharma and Grant Shapps also backed Boris – so there is experience there.
John Stewart, RLA policy manager said: “As Mayor of London Boris Johnson spoke of not over-regulating the rental market, and for the need to boost the supply of homes to rent.
“As Prime Minister, it is vital that his government makes good on this sentiment, ensuring policy boosts the supply of homes to rent, supports the vast majority of landlords doing a good job whilst focussing resources on finding and rooting out the crooks.”
- The RLA wrote to both leadership candidates last month, outlining a five-point plan to bring about a more positive attitude towards the PRS and will now provide briefings for ministers in the new cabinet.