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Dear Teresa May - Belvoir issues an open letter to the PM
Belvoir issues an open letter to the Prime Minister, asking her to consider the appointment of a housing tsar and an ombudsman redress scheme for tenants…
Former Foreign Office minister Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, is currently Britain's sixth Housing Minister since the Tories came into power in 2010.
As Housing Ministers are only remaining in post for approximately 12 months I believe that the appointment of a housing tsar, who could work with industry experts and politicians from all parties, and then make recommendations to the new Housing Minister, would be an effective way of increasing market stability, and would be extremely beneficial for the housing industry.
Belvoir has long been calling for action that will encourage landlords back into the sector, as landlords are undoubtedly best placed to supply much-needed new rental properties. It is no longer acceptable to use landlords as a scapegoat for the failings of successive Housing Ministers with short term plans for the housing market. A long-term, strategic vision for a housing market that works for everyone is desperately needed. Although there are reports that investment in the City into Build to Rent will rise to £70 billion by 2021, this will still not supply anything like the 1.8 million homes that are needed in this country for those who are reliant on the Private Rental Sector.
Belvoir is fully committed to mandatory Client Money Protection (CMP) schemes and full licensing schemes of all landlords, similar to schemes introduced in Scotland and Wales. The previous Housing Minister seemed to suggest that CMP will become mandatory, however there is no mention of ensuring that the five million tenants in the UK who currently rent through private landlords will have access to an ombudsman scheme which will allow them fair redress, similar to consumers of telecommunications and energy companies.
Currently, only tenants who rent through letting agents have access to an ombudsman scheme, which seems to be extremely unfair. If the government is going to ban or cap tenant fees we believe that additional measures should be introduced to provide protection for the millions of tenants who rent through private landlords.
I hope that the new Housing Minister will be looking at these and other key issues, and I am confident that the appointment of a housing tsar could result in an improved long-term strategy for the industry.
Chief Operating Officer
For further information on Belvoir visit: https://www.belvoir.co.uk/