Government Housing White Paper due out tomorrow

Government Housing White Paper due out tomorrow

10:07 AM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago 13

Text Size

In a U-turn on previous Cameron policy to promote home ownership above all else, the new May administration, under the housing Minister Gavin Barwell, is due to place more of the emphasis on helping people in the rental sector with its new Housing White Paper.white paper

The Government will seek to assist and encourage, with the help of local councils, the building of more affordable rental homes. The definition of affordable rents being at least 20% below the market rate.

The overall target is to build 1 million new homes by 2020 and try to stem the chronic imbalance of lack of supply against ever rising demand and an increasing population.

It is anticipates that incentives will be made available to landlords for ‘family friendly’ three year guaranteed tenancies to be offered to tenants in an effort to increase stability and security for those families that want it. However, it has to be remembered that most BTL mortgage contracts prohibit the use of fixed contracts for more than 12 months so there will be practical road blocks to this that it is hope will be covered in the White Paper.

Communities secretary, Sajid Javid, said “We are determined to make housing more affordable and secure for ordinary working families and have a rental market that offers much more choice. We understand people are living longer in private rented accommodation which is why we are fixing this broken housing market so all types of home are more affordable.

“These measures will help renters have the security they need to be able to plan for the future while we ensure this is a country that works for everyone.”

There may also be Stamp Duty incentives for over 55s in an attempt to help them Downsize to smaller homes and free up larger family homes that would otherwise have been kept out of the market.

The government will re-affirm its commitment to protect Green Belt land, but wants councils to develop ambitious building plans.

Councils will be expected to target inner city sites close to transport hubs for more residential development and railway station car parks could be moved underground to make space for new homes.

Height restrictions on buildings to prevent them blocking light are set to be reduced and allow buildings as high as the existing tallest property on their block to be built without extra planning permission.

Prefabricated buildings sites should be identified allowing new homes to be completed in far less time.

There is also likely to be restrictions imposed on developers to stop Land Banking and sitting on sites that could be used straight away and selling parts of plots off at a profit instead of developing them. Developers sitting on land may then have planning permission withdrawn.

New rules may also require developers to provide a ratio of new homes for affordable rent.

Gavin Barwel said “Whether you’re trying to buy or you’re trying to rent, housing in this country has become less and less affordable, because for 30 or 40 years governments have not built enough homes and this White Paper is fundamentally trying to do something about that.”

Share This Article


Dr Rosalind Beck

10:16 AM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

In the Government's endeavour to fete institutional providers of housing while simultaneously hammering the 'small' landlord, there in an implicit assumption that institutions will be able to ‘take over’ the whole of the rented sector (which seems to be what the Government is aiming at in its attack on our ‘individual’ landlords). Many of my tenants live in terraced houses in the South Wales valleys. They do not want to move down to Cardiff to live in a block of flats – even if the institutions wanted them as tenants and charged the kind of rents they can afford; many of my houses, mostly two-bed terraces, rent out for between £300 and £400 per month (Barwell might like to include this kind of let in his categorisation of ‘affordable’). In Cardiff a room in an institution-owned block is around £300 per week (he might like to categorise these institutional lets as ‘unaffordable’). If I go bankrupt because of Section 24 or I have to evict my tenants on low rents as I need to up the rents to pay the new levy on finance interest, where does the Government think these tenants will go?'

There is only one explanation of why institutions are feted by the Government and it is summed up in one word: corruption.

Alison King

11:54 AM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

I think this is a lot more sensible than most of the other things the government has done and doesn't feel so much like an attack on landlords and tenants. Longer tenancies would suit me too although nearly all my tenants have elected for periodic monthly tenancies so I am not convinced there is much of a demand.

Monty Bodkin

12:12 PM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

I'd happily give 3 year tenancies (or longer) if evicting for not paying rent and anti social behaviour, within a reasonable timescale, were a realistic possibility. No doubt that side of the equation will be overlooked in the white paper.

Old Mrs Landlord

12:13 PM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Alison King" at "06/02/2017 - 11:54":

As far as I can tell it is Agents endeavouring to ensure repeat commission who keep tenants on short contracts. Statutory periodic tenancies save tenants money and overcome any problems with lenders' restriction on length of contracts. Landlords obviously want to keep good tenants as long as suits both parties. I can see no point meddling with a system which works well for all (except for managing agents' bottom line).

Whiteskifreak Surrey

12:32 PM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dr Rosalind Beck" at "06/02/2017 - 10:16":

Spot on - as always - Dr Ros!
IMHO it is a joke. Of course no mention about scrapping S24! No mention that the big build to Rent companies will have their first responsibility to shareholders! If they removed S24, at least they would have brought some normality to the completely volatile PRS market.
NB - our students DO NOT WANT 3 YEAR TENANCY! They have industrial sandwich courses here. and nobody wants commitment to stay 3 years. ..
I do not see that as a relaxation on renting - it is buying votes now not only of FTB but also of the renters. Baby-face Barwell has as much knowledge of the rental market as pasty-face Osborne had...
Personally we have started notifying tenants that we must increase the rent, sending them link to your report and some other articles, as well as encouraging them to write to our local MP and telling them about The Tenants Tax and Government War on Landlords.
What a sorry state we are in.

Alison King

12:42 PM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Old Mrs Landlord" at "06/02/2017 - 12:13":

If agents fees are the main driver for short fixed tenancies and landlords are going to have to pay agents fees in the future then a choice between longer tenancies or perodic ones are a win for both landlords and tenants. I don't have a lot of sympathy for those agents who deliberately create extra work for themselves, and the ones who don't will be unaffected anyway.

Simon Griffith

13:35 PM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Alison, no professional landlord in business for the long term has any significant objection to the concept of long term tenancies. However, no judge is able to grant mandatory possession within a fixed term or indeed within the first six months of a tenancy. Herein lies the problem -tenants get the security of tenure they apparently crave but landlords are hung further out to dry when a tenancy goes bad which is does from time to time no matter the due diligence unless you are blessed with extreme good fortune. Furthermore statistics actually show that most tenancies ended by the landlord thus disrupting the tenant are down to rent arrears, damage, anti-social behaviour - not for fun ! Well this was the case until the government started forcing landlords to sell with their sustained attacks. Good reliable tenants did have nothing to fear from a mortgage lender compliant 6/12 month AST as why would the landlord want them to leave ? More meddling which is entirely unnecessary and actually ultimately counter productive.

John Constant

13:57 PM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

It will be interesting to see how the Government plan to broaden provision for those who wish to rent whilst at the same time forcing Landlords into Bankruptcy. Perhaps by further incentives to large Corporate investors?

Simon Williams

17:52 PM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Currently, the big institutional/corporate landlords in the UK charge staggeringly high rents and specialise only in the wealthy young professional or wealthy student market. I very much doubt they will be keen to branch out too much beyond that. They will thus not solve the under-supply problem. It's fine of course to offer a 3 year fixed term tenancy to a young professional with a good and reliable income - they very rarely default. But I don't see the big corporates rushing to grant extended tenancies to people on housing benefit etc.

And of course our current "broken" system is actually achieving average tenancies of 3.9 years with 90% of notices being handed in by the tenant and not the landlord.

Old Mrs Landlord

18:40 PM, 6th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Williams" at "06/02/2017 - 17:52":

Simon, would you be so good as to provide the source of the figures quoted in your final paragraph. In our eleven years of letting six properties we have only given notice to one tenant, all the others have left when they decided the right time had come for them. The statutory periodic is the ideal system as far as we can see. Only Shelter and Generation Rent seem to think three-year or longer tenancies are necessary and that the current system is "broken", It looks like yet another case of ministers listening to those who shout loudest.

1 2

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now