Property industry calls for a Minister for Renting

2 December 2020 | General

Property firms have written to the Prime Minister and government, urging them to support tenants by appointing a Minister for Renting.

Build-to-rent portal Love to Rent wrote the letter, which was co-signed by developers Folio London and Arcadia, as well as property management firm Hera Property.

The letter called for Boris Johnson to make the appointment to “oversee and raise standards for millions of people currently in rental accommodation, much of which is not fit for purpose and to enforce standards on landlords who do not comply and to encourage and play a part in the growing build to rent sector which has the ability to improve lives for the future.”

Anne-Marie Brown, founder and chief executive of Love to Rent, said: “Rented accommodation requires different governance than home-ownership, yet when both are being handled by the same Minister, they often focus predominately on increasing rates of home-ownership to the detriment of the rented market.

“Younger generations are becoming increasingly less reliant on private ownership in favour of rental properties that provides a secure and flexible lifestyle and this demand is only set to increase, as the build-to-rent sector continues to flourish.”

Some 28% of the UK population currently lives in private rented accommodation.

Meanwhile the build-to-rent sector is seeing more interest from big companies, including Legal & General and John Lewis.

Brown added: “As the number of people renting rises and the profile of renters changes – with more families and older people choosing to rent – we need to refocus the agenda, placing more emphasis on improving conditions for renters, including holding landlords to account for poor performance, and promoting longer more secure tenancies.

“People have also started to re-evaluate where they want to live and what they want out of a home since the start of the pandemic, with many looking for pet friendly developments, space to work from home, access to high speed broadband and also social and community events to allow for social interaction. Love to Rent is the perfect portal to find these homes.”

This post has originally been featured in Property Wire.