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Government plan to help renters

Monday 06 February 2017

​A long-delayed housing white paper, due to be published on Tuesday, which aims to help renters and fix the ‘broken housing market’ in the UK, has been blasted by the opposition.

The proposals include changing planning rules so councils can provide more long-term 'Build to Rent' homes.

Family-friendly tenancies of three years or more in purpose-built private rental schemes to all customers would also be encouraged.

And the white paper is set to confirm plans announced last year to ban letting ‘unfair’ agent fees, which average £223 per tenancy.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said the proposals would create a rental market with ‘much more choice’ and security for ‘ordinary working families’.

He added: "We understand people are living longer in private rented accommodation which is why we are fixing this broken housing market so all types of home are more affordable.

"These measures will help renters have the security they need to be able to plan for the future while we ensure this is a country that works for everyone." 

A Whitehall source said the government did not want to scare people off from renting out homes, but offer incentives to encourage best practice and isolate the worst landlords.

The proportion of people living in private rented accommodation has doubled since 2000.

Kate Webb, the head of policy at Shelter, said “If the government really is serious about fixing this problem at its source, then they quite simply need to build more homes.”

John Healey, the shadow housing minister, said: “There is a huge gap between Tory rhetoric and their record on housing. 

“For instance, last year the level of affordable new houses built hit a 24-year low despite their promises.

“Theresa May has been in the cabinet for seven years and last year they resisted every Labour effort to bring in secured tenancies for people in the rented sector as well as deal with rogue landlords and ensure decent rental standards. The Tories will be judged on their record not their rhetoric.”

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