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News: Rent holds keys to the City

Wed, 19 Sep 07

The British Property Federation has welcomed a new housing plan from the Mayor of London which calls for measures to encourage institutional investment to create a wide ranging private rented sector...

The British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed a new housing plan from the Mayor of London which calls for measures to encourage institutional investment to create a professionally managed and wide ranging private rented sector, calling for the government to look at adopting it across the country.

BPF argues that encouraging more property companies to develop and invest in the private rented sector would boost supply, improve service and provide quality professionally run accommodation for those unable to get on the private housing ladder and who don't qualify for social housing.

Tough love from the Mayor

The property industry has long called for the kind of easily accessible private rented market enjoyed by consumers in Germany and the USA.  The new housing plan admits that "too many landlords still provide poor value for money, inadequate maintenance and bad management".  In response, the Mayor offers tough love – directing boroughs that the private rented sector should be used more to discharge their homelessness duties, but only with landlords that are accredited and offering longer tenancies.

Ian Fletcher, director for residential policy at BPF, said: "What is often forgotten is that the private rented sector is bigger in London, than either housing association or council provision. The Mayor is therefore to be commended for recognising the importance of the sector and integrating it into his strategy – a sharp contrast with the recent housing green paper, which was silent on the use and role of the private rented sector.”

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