An organisation that helps promote the Build To Rent sector says BTR should take credit for many of the changes proposed in the government’s controversial Fairer Private Rental Sector White Paper.
The British Property Federation says: “If Oscar Wilde was right when he wrote ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…’ then the Build To Rent sector should be feeling very flattered right now. Most of the proposed changes have been lifted directly from those introduced by investors since the sector’s early days.”
It claims that Build To Rent is ahead of the game on a number of fronts.
So for example, on the White Paper’s pledge that buy to let properties will have to meet the current Decent Homes Standard, the BPF writes on its website: “Naturally, BTR continues to exceed these by some margin.”
With regard to the pledge to outlaw bans on types of tenants such as families, the BPF writes: “I can’t imagine why a BTR investor would want to ban families, when I last looked, there were one million families renting in the PRS.”
And on buy to let landlords being expected to allow pets, the BPF comments: “The vast majority of Build To Rent investors (it might even be all of them now) allow pets, when they can, to enhance customer wellbeing and increase lettings.”
However, even the federation is concerned at some points in the White Paper.
On the proposal to abolish tenancy end dates and replace them with rolling tenancies, the BPF writes: “I get the logic of this to ensure tenancies don’t terminate by the effluxion of time, the transition to the new regime, when it comes, will be uncomfortable for renting customers who have been used to having an end date in their tenancy agreement. Some may see a never ending tenancy as something to be concerned about. The government will need to heavily advertise the change when it comes to try and overcome this.”
And on the proposal to end rent review clauses and allow rents to rise only once per year, the BPF comments: “A tenancy for a fixed length of more than a year, being reviewable annually and on a clear and agreed basis e.g. linked to RPI and possibly with a collar and cap has benefits for customer and landlord as both know where they stand during its duration. An annual market review creates uncertainty for both sides and the process may be more unwieldy.”
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