RICS Housing Report says “NO” to PRS rent controls …

RICS Housing Report says “NO” to PRS rent controls …

Today The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have published a Housing Commission Report, forming recommendations for what the Government and industry should do to drive investment and provide the right homes for all in the UK.

Amongst many interesting points raised, LRS noted this:

Increasing investment in the private rental sector


  • All political parties should make a commitment not to introduce rent controls in the private rented sector, as this would reduce the level of supply in the rented housing market at a time when the country is becoming more dependent upon the sector.

Now, LRS completely agree with the above statement – but then this raises the same question that landlordreferencing.co.uk raised around this time last year;

How will the Government bridge the gap between an improving economy and rising rents VS a lack of housing stock and capped benefits ? ? ?

The conclusive report, delivered to the UK Housing Minister and the Shadow Housing Minister ahead of the 2015 election, also includes these recommendations :

  • Any regulation of registered providers needs to be proportional and reflect the diversity of the sector. Over tight regulation will inhibit activities within the sector and reduce the number of homes built. One size cannot fit all and regulators should be cautious about arbitrary regulatory approaches.
  • Government policies need to facilitate housing supply of all tenures rather than showing bias to just one or two.
  • The UK Government must carefully review the introduction of their welfare reform measures and must be vigilant that the unintended consequences do not outweigh any benefits. This is the kind of task that our proposed Independent Sector-Led Standing Committee would undertake.
  • An end to short-term and partial policies for housing.
  • The establishment of an Independent Sector-Led Standing Committee to advise Government and opposition parties on issues relating to housing supply in all tenures across the UK as a whole.
  • The founding, by Government and industry, of a Housing Observatory for the United Kingdom that would bring together relevant private sector and university research on housing, planning and infrastructure provision. The Observatory would provide advice and report to the Standing Committee advocated above.
  • The UK Administrations should double their target for releasing public land for residential development; in England from 100,000 new homes to 200,000 new homes by 2015.
  • Any public land sold for residential purposes should include an expectation that 33% of the developed homes should be for subsidised housing (with the overall subsidy, including land discounts, not exceeding regional averages).
  • When public bodies dispose of surplus land for residential purposes, there should be an assumption that this land will be sold on a “pay as you go” basis , where the developer pays the purchase price in stages dependent upon sales to occupiers, private landlords and registered providers.
  • Land owners, who obtain detailed planning consent for schemes exceeding four homes, should be required to use best endeavours to ensure that construction is commenced within three years of the consent date, including selling the site to a party capable, and willing, to commence development within that same period.
  • The introduction of a new ‘affordable rented housing’ planning class for land.
  • Under-occupation penalties should not apply where affected tenants are unlikely
    to secure another home in the same “Travel to Work” area.
    • Governments should begin to replace Right to Buy, which frequently reduces the supply of affordable rented homes in a locality, with a portable home ownership discount for tenants that display a capacity to save, avoid rent arrears and to manage their homes effectively.
    • Recommend that the UK Government should permit Local Authorities to introduce additional council tax bands. The extra income generated would be required to be invested in social housing.
    • SIPPS (self-invested private pension schemes) should be permitted to invest in newly developed residential property, where such property is to be let on commercial open market terms and managed professionally.
    • Local authorities discharging their homeless duties, by placing families in the rental sector, should only be permitted to undertake such a placement if the property meets an EPC level of E or above.
    • The UK Government should reduce VAT to 5% on building works that improve the energy efficiency of the property and where such works are undertaken by an accredited installer or contractor.
    • Government should investigate the introduction of a sliding scale of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) based on the energy performance of the dwelling.
    • Rental levels in the registered provider sector should reflect the energy efficiency of the property being let. Permissible rent levels should be varied depending upon the EPC rating of the property or equivalent.
    • The Government should resist the temptation to further alter the National Planning Policy Framework in England and should encourage local authorities to reduce the level of local variation and complication.
    Landlords and Letting Agents, what are your views on these recommendations?

    Read the full RICS Housing Commission Report by clicking here.

    Related topics:

    Ken Livingstone calls for rent controls

Author: News @ Tenant Referencing

Keeping you up to date with landlord and property topics. Send in your story to media@landlordreferencing.co.uk