Belvoir issues an open letter to the Prime Minister asking her to consider the appointment of a housing tsar and an ombudsman redress scheme for tenantsMake Text Bigger
Following the recent appointment of another new Housing and Planning minister, Belvoir, which has over 300 High Street Offices in the UK, is suggesting the appointment of a cross-party housing tsar to work with industry experts, social housing providers and all housing stake holders to create a stable property market with long-term vision.
Former Foreign Office minister Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, is currently Britain’s sixth Housing Minister since the Tories came into power in 2010.
As Housing Ministers are only remaining in post for approximately 12 months I believe that the appointment of a housing tsar, who could work with industry experts and politicians from all parties, and then make recommendations to the new Housing Minister, would be an effective way of increasing market stability, and would be extremely beneficial for the housing industry.
Belvoir has long been calling for action that will encourage landlords back into the sector, as landlords are undoubtedly best placed to supply much-needed new rental properties. It is no longer acceptable to use landlords as a scapegoat for the failings of successive Housing Ministers with short term plans for the housing market. A long-term, strategic vision for a housing market that works for everyone is desperately needed. Although there are reports that investment in the City into Build to Rent will rise to £70 billion by 2021, this will still not supply anything like the 1.8 million homes that are needed in this country for those who are reliant on the Private Rental Sector.
Belvoir is fully committed to mandatory Client Money Protection (CMP) schemes and full licensing schemes of all landlords, similar to schemes introduced in Scotland and Wales. The previous Housing Minister seemed to suggest that CMP will become mandatory, however there is no mention of ensuring that the five million tenants in the UK who currently rent through private landlords will have access to an ombudsman scheme which will allow them fair redress, similar to consumers of telecommunications and energy companies.
Currently, only tenants who rent through letting agents have access to an ombudsman scheme, which seems to be extremely unfair. If the government is going to ban or cap tenant fees we believe that additional measures should be introduced to provide protection for the millions of tenants who rent through private landlords.
I hope that the new Housing Minister will be looking at these and other key issues, and I am confident that the appointment of a housing tsar could result in an improved long-term strategy for the industry.
Chief Operating Officer
Exclusive quote for Property118 readers from Dorian Gonsalves:
“The changes to mortgage interest tax relief introduced by George Osborne in 2015 at the height of his ‘tax and cut’ austerity measures has restricted the supply of rental properties, increased rents for many tenants and acts as a disincentive for landlords to invest in new rental homes, some of which are not currently in occupation and may need major refurbishment. We either need more homes or we don’t. If we do, every measure should be taken to increase the supply of new homes including new and creative incentives to encourage landlords to invest in, and provide, more housing in areas where it’s desperately needed.”
Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.