Estate agent franchise group Belvoir has published an open letter to the Prime Minister Theresa May calling for both the appointment of a housing tsar and an ombudsman for tenants.
Released today, its Chief Operating Officer Dorian Gonsalves (pictured, right) says the UK needs a cross-party housing tsar to work with industry experts, social housing providers and all housing stake holders to help “create a stable property market with a long-term vision”.
Dorian describes new Housing Minister Alok Sharma (pictured, left), MP for Reading West, as “Britain’s sixth since the Tories came into power in 2010” and that on average they only stay in post for 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,” he says.
Leave landlords alone
Gonsalves says Belvoir has been calling for the current government to encourage rather the alienate landlords, who he says are best placed to provide the extra rented homes “the UK so badly needs”.
“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,” says Dorian.
“A long-term, strategic vision for a housing market that works for everyone is desperately needed.”
Dorian also says in the letter that despite reports of investment in Build to Rent rising to £70 billion by 2021, it will not be enough to supply the additional 1.8 million homes needed in the UK at the moment.
Gonsalves also says Belvoir supports the introduction of compulsory Client Money Protection in England, and the full licensing of landlords, but says tenants should get an ombudsman too regardless of who they rent their property from.
“Currently, only tenants who rent through letting agents have access to an ombudsman scheme, which seems to be extremely unfair,” he says.
“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.”