Repairing our Housing Crisis in the UK
The housing crisis in the UK isn’t going anywhere. And who’s affected? Most of us, by rising house prices and rising rents; renters are unable to afford rising rents and letting agent fees, which are yet to be banned, and homelessness is rising at an alarming rate, with one in every 200 people homeless. (Shelter)
We have a broken housing system, we can agree; what we don’t seem to be able to do is find a solution that really works. Migration and fewer bodies per household are huge contributing factors to this, household size has almost halved over the past century (Financial Times)
This Autumn the Government has put forward £25 million to invest in the building of ‘needed’ housing in the UK, for trades to be learned and buildings to be developed; but how far will this go and does more need to be done?
A change in the whole process, experience and approach needs to be implemented.
What is being demanded of the rental sector? Foremost, transparency, from tenants and landlords, the Government have even called for ‘more transparency’ in the rental sector themselves by announcing the tenant fees ban, Letproof.com strongly believe that transparency is an essential step to aiding the housing crisis.
What else is being done to make renting more accessible in the UK? Build to let properties are underway in many cities already. With a great number, around 4.3 million, now renting in the UK, these properties will play their part in the lack of affordable housing.
Longer Term Tenancies were obviously a welcome announcement for tenants, offering more security when renting, however, the Guardian reports that the Government WhitePaper is ‘limiting longer tenancies to new, purpose-built private rented homes’ and that unfortunately ‘the government has offered renters the bare minimum’ here.
We raise the question again, ‘is this enough or should there be more done for tenants?’. We’re moving in the right direction; no fees for tenants and more rental homes being provided with some, however, restricted, longer-term tenancies offered, signifies slightly better times ahead for tenants.
Theresa May is moving away from a focus on home ownership, in line with the rising numbers of those now, for many reasons, renting in the UK.
Overall, it's clear that more needs to be done to make renting an affordable and available option for those who cannot or do not want to get on the property ladder; renters need to be provided with an accessible route to their rental properties, knowing they won’t be exploited by their letting agents. Even post ban, tenants may still feel the repercussions of agent fees, passed on through their landlords, if their fees then increase as a result.
It is a change to the process of renting as a whole that Letproof.com are working towards - join us or learn more here.