A government-commissioned review is due to publish its recommendations this month on how to encourage greater investment in privately rented properties.
The review, which has been conducted by Sir Adrian Montague, is part of the Government’s Housing Strategy and its remit has been to look at ways to boost investment in the private rental sector by increasing the supply of affordable homes.
Although the recommendations are not due to be published until later this month, sources close to the review team have said that it will make five key recommendations to the Government:
1. Encourage local councils to promote new large-scale private rented developments by giving them new powers to waive affordable housing requirements;
2. Create new measures to ensure that developers cannot circumvent existing planning laws by building a private rented development and then selling off units to owner-occupiers. The measures are expected to stipulate that the development must stay as rental accommodation for a minimum period of time;
3. Offer government loans or equity funds (similar to the ‘Get Britain Building’ fund) to support large-scale new-build private rented developments;
4. Set up a government-backed specialist housing task force to make available more public land for private rented sector schemes and to ensure that the recommendations of the review are implemented; and
5. Create a “kite mark” to ensure that standards in the build-to-let sector are maintained.
The Government is expected to respond to the review’s recommendations in the autumn.