RLA warns new PM against ‘over-regulation’ of PRS

Victory address has Johnson hinting at home ownership as a housing priority.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

A quick off the mark RLA has told new PM Boris Johnson to do for the country what he did for London on PRS policy.

“As Mayor of London Boris Johnson spoke of not over-regulating the rental market, and for the need to boost the supply of homes to rent.

“As Prime Minister, it is vital that his Government makes good on this sentiment, ensuring policy boosts the supply of homes to rent and supports the vast majority of landlords doing a good job whilst focussing resources on finding and rooting out the crooks,” said RLA policy manager John Stewart.

Within minutes of Johnson’s win, the RLA referenced his reply to a Mayoral Question Time session in 2014, when the then Mayor of London.

Then, Johnson said of the PRS: “I do not want to get into the business of trying to over-regulate a market that needs to develop.

“We need to expand the supply of private rented accommodation in London and we need to encourage investors to help us build hundreds of thousands more homes in London, many of them for private rent as well as for affordable rent.”

David Montague, L&Q Group Chief Executive also harked back to Johnson’s London mayoralty saying: “We worked productively with Boris as Mayor of London, we look forward to working with him again.

“Our hope is that he seizes the opportunity to create renewed economic confidence, forging partnerships with those who share his ambition and backing us to deliver the growth, homes and communities Britain needs.”

In his victory address Johnson gave a hint at what his housing policy might prioritise, speaking of home ownership as instinctive.

But Paresh Raja, CEO, Market Financial Solutions, saw Johnson’s appointment posing more questions than answers.

“While not downplaying the significance of Brexit, we also cannot let this overshadow some of the pressing issues facing the property market,” said Raja.

“There’s a myriad of challenges that need to be addressed, and so far, creative action to address these has been minimal.

“That’s why it is vital for (Johnson) not to let Brexit continue to dominate the political landscape.

“Vision and leadership is needed to ensure we can also address pressing national challenges such as the housing crisis.

“At the same time, it will likely encourage more investment activity, with investors being able to clearly plan for the future,” he said.

It is one of a mammoth task on his hands that Johnson has as soon as he enters No.10, according to Royal Institute of British Architects CEO, Alan Vallance.

“The unacceptable delay to reforming building and fire safety regulations since the Grenfell Tower tragedy must be urgently addressed.

“The PM must strengthen and expand requirements to ensure all our buildings are safe”, he added.

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