CEO of mydeposits, Eddie Hooker, discusses some of the trials facing the private rented sector following the Government’s publication of the eagerly awaited white paper on the housing market.
Some of the statistics quoted in the paper on the housing market are frightening; the average home in the UK costs almost eight times the average salary, below average income earners, spend more than a third of their income on housing and more than 4 million households rent in the UK – nearly twice as many as 10 years ago.
The solution is building more houses, make renting fairer and providing financial assistance to those that need it. But can it be realistically achieved?
The May administration has recognised that the private rented sector plays an important part of the long-term solution for the UK housing market.
The plans laid out focus on affordability for renters and driving up standards. I reinforce the government’s message: letting agent fees to tenants will be banned. Client Money Protection insurance again is mentioned, with a clear suggestion that this important consumer protection tool will be made mandatory for all letting agents. Mandatory electrical safety checks and properly enforced licensing of Houses of Multiple Occupation are also mentioned. Finally, the question of longer fixed tenancies has been raised again. In my experience, most landlords also want the security of income to support their investment and will grant longer term tenancies wherever possible. Flexibility is an important aspect in the rented sector. Everyone is different.
It’s a challenging time ahead for the private rented sector.
With so much to digest it will be fascinating to watch the progress of these initiatives over the coming years. Whilst it is clear that there is still room for improvement, the report itself shows that standards are already on the rise, with 65% of private tenants happy with their tenure, increasing by 17% since 2005.