RLA Chairman Alan Ward spoke last week – on Thursday 25th June 2015 – at the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH) Conference to discuss ‘the future of market rent’. Alan sat on an expert panel that was chaired by Nick Duxbury, features editor of InsideHousing and had Betsy Dillner, director of Generation Rent; Claire Higgins, Chief Executive of Cross Keys Homes in Peterborough; and Derek Gorman, managing director (Market Rented Assets) at Grainger PLC all contribute.
It was interesting discussion where Alan defended the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and put forward realistic policies to continue to improve the sector.
Derek Gorman of Grainger PLC said at the time: “We haven’t provided enough accommodation in London for 30 years”
Alan was keen to stress the importance of not basing the national housing policy on the current situation in London as this reflects a different reality from the rest of the country.
Betsy Dillner argued that many renters are struggling to afford their rent with tenants spending 40% of their monthly salary on rent. Betsy argued that we need to find a way of stabilising rent.
Alan and Derek were in agreement that any form of rent control was likely to scare of potential investors. Private landlords have supplied 3 million of the 5.2 million private rented properties – equating to 60% – through private capital. This has funded new-build, and renovated old, redundant, large houses and created new dwellings…threatening this supply is a risky thought.
What is really needed in the PRS is better enforcement, and not more legislation. Tenants should be armed with the knowledge of their rights, and report criminals posing as landlords to their Local Councils. Councils should be incentivised to discover landlords contravening legislation by being able to recover enforcement costs through fees for intervention.