Property developers want more land dedicated to Build to Rent

by Gary Whittaker

Build to Rent has been seen as the potential future of the private rented sector in the past few months. With the government making it more expensive for people to invest in buy-to-let homes in the aftermath of the three per cent Stamp Duty levy, many predicted that there could be a way for the supply and demand issue this may bring about to be addressed by the building of new dedicated homes for the rental market. 

And now, a group of developers have come together to tell the government they want more done to help boost the Build to Rent sector, allowing it to become one of the major sources of new homes in the UK. With its potential realised, the Better Renting group said, the sector could help bring 250,000 new homes to market for rent. 

The campaign group has even written to the housing minister to ask for support in helping property developers aid the governments plans to add an extra million homes to the British property market between now and 2020. The rise of this new sector could also help to bring as much as £50 billion into the property market. 

In the letter to the housing minister, the group claims that the government could help its cause by setting aside an agreed proportion of public land for the use of development in the sector. Not only would this allow for a stronger supply of rental homes coming to market, but it would also allow councils and public land owners to generate rental income from the properties built there. 

It also asks the government to make a U-turn on the decision to include Build to Rent corporations in the three per cent Stamp Duty levy. In December, when the tax was announced, it was originally suggested that only individual landlords would be affected, but it was later changed to include large corporate investors as well. 

Martin Bellinger, chief operating officer at Essential Living, part of the group, said: "Until we face up to the fact that promoting home ownership at all costs will lead us nowhere, Britain will not overcome its housing shortage. The housing minister has been very supportive of Build to Rent, but what’s crucial is that the prime minister and chancellor recognise the contribution this could make to helping them keep their promises on building a million homes by 2020."

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08-June-16Legal News