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Boris to be PM, so what can we expect on housing?

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

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.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and award-winning Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

4 Comments

  • It will be interesting to see where he goes in the short time he is likely to have as Prime Minister. The current proposals to abolish S21 is setting a trap for landlords. It is making it much more difficult to sell properties and exit the market. Next all you need it a left wing lunatic to gain power and introduce severe rent control and you are back to the 1970’s rent act where landlords are impaled as the possibility of quick exit from the market will have been removed. You will be stuck with a investment which would most likely end as a liability. We have seen it in history and should not be complacent. The actions o fthe conservative party has persoanlly convince me to never vote conservative again. Having said that labour would be suicide and liberals would be almost as bad. As a small portfolio holder I feel totally disenfranchised and victimised as I know my stock is in excellent condition and properties are well maintained. My years of hard work to achieve in life is now threatened.

    • I have to agree. We are actively trying to get out of PRS as the future looks fraught with continuous legislation and 70s Man waiting in the wings!

  • I wouldn’t worry overly about Boris’s plans in detail Sally, he won’t be in power long enough, with or without an election. All plans need to go through parliament. Lets see what his majority reduces to, if there is one, once the rest of parliament recognises the extreme right wing we now have in the open, and joins forces to combat it in every way it can, even if they deny that possibility. I predict he will be pretty (thats pretty not Priti) powerless and eventually abduct to the US to hold expensive speeches on why he failed so miserably and why the vast majority of Londoners were against him. And then we can move on as a more liberal and welcoming nation without such extreme ‘politics of the past’. The young professionals and intelligentsia do not want it, and they MUST be the future of our country for it to be great once again, rather than simply a heritage tourist destination (which I’m quite sure is Jacob Rees Mogg’s plan- perhaps he needs advice on a nice thatched cottage in the Cotswolds now his income has somewhat temporarily increased a fraction). And neither does most business (barring extremely wealthy publicans who thrive on others misfortune by addiction to cheap booze, no names required).

  • For me the proposed increase in the 40% tax band starting point to £80,000 will remove all the negative impact of Section 24 and the greatly increased rents in the student market I operate in will just be a huge bonus, together with cutting out the deadwood/liability of 6 ‘family’ let houses in a ‘reasonably’ priced market with the impending Section 21 changes etc etc. The only problem is, I think it very unlikely to come to pass.

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