Industry calls for ‘US-style’ rental market

Industry calls for ‘US-style’ rental market

Developers, pension funds and housing associations have written an open letter calling for a “US-style” rental market.

They have formed a new campaign group called Better Renting for Britain which is calling for delivery of housing for long-term rent offering a potential £30bn of new private finance.

The campaign group said an American-style rental market – where single companies own large portfolios of homes – is the solution to the UK’s housing shortfall.

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Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “Supporting the build-to-rent sector will help the next government meet the housebuilding targets that all the main political parties have pledged to voters during this election.

“It will help reinvigorate our city centres and support local authorities that want to help retain their young people who need homes.

“And most importantly, for renters, it will revolutionise the sector, providing greater choice of tenure length, rent certainty and high levels of customer service.”

The letter, signed by representatives from 41 companies, called for the rental sector to remain operating as a free market and for councils to allocate land specifically for rented housing.

It says the campaign group wants to create “more professionally managed rented housing, purposefully designed and built with the long-term occupier in mind”.

Nick Jopling, executive director for property at Grainger, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, said: “Not only do we need to build many more homes, but we need to make sure renters get a better deal.

“As a business that’s been around since 1912, we want to see a rental market that provides long-term options as well as good value for money and customer service.

“By supporting build-to-rent, the future British government can encourage companies like ourselves to help increase housing supply and improve standards of living in the rental market.”

Adviser view

David Stone, a partner with London-based Mansion House Capital, said: “I think the issue is market liquidity.

“Regulation is reducing market liquidity after the mortgage market review, and we don’t want to see that in the buy-to-let sector.”