Politicians urged to speak up on benefits of private rented sector

The British Property Federation is asking for more vocal political support for the private rented sector as it says the country is likely to turn to landlords to plug the housing supply gap.

The trade body argues that with home ownership out of reach for many consumers at the moment there will soon not be enough homes to meet demand from those who don’t qualify for social housing but who can’t afford to buy.

The BPF wants to see more private rented housing encouraged by councils and whichever political party takes power after the upcoming general election.

Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the BPF, says: “The private rented sector has been getting an increasing amount of attention in housing circles but political support for the market remains worryingly muted.

“This is a pity because it is the only way of satisfying housing requirements in this country for the foreseeable future.”

He adds: “We need to redouble our efforts to emphasise that this is not just about quality renting but also about delivering the supply of housing the country needs.”
Grainger is the UK’s largest specialist residential landlord, with approximately £2.8bn of assets under management.

Andrew Cunningham, chief executive of Grainger, says: “It is painfully apparent that with new-build well below 100,000 units for 2009 the government’s ambitious 2020 target of three million homes is unachievable.

“With the market so dependent on credit the property industry is having to explore alternative business models that could engage institutional investors, bring forward developments and ensure housing needs are met.”

He adds: “The private rented sector is a subject on which we have campaigned for some time and it seems 2010 could be the year rhetoric finally becomes reality.”