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Sadiq Khan backs Build To Rent and more landlord licensing

London mayor says the private rental sector will play an increasing part in solving the capital’s housing shortage - but insists Build To Rent is likely to attract most of his focus.

In his ‘City For All Londoners’ document released this week, Khan says he will back yet more local borough council licensing schemes for landlords “which could help crack down on criminal landlords as well as recognising the good service that the majority of landlords provide.”

However, much of his emphasis is going to be on attracting institutional investment for custom-built private rental accommodation. 

“I am focusing on ways of attracting finance into new high-quality Build To Rent  development. I will review how planning policies can recognise the distinct economics of Build To Rent, as well as seeking to support it through City Hall investment and helping to develop innovative construction methods” he says.

Around half of all British Build To Rent accommodation so far has been earmarked for London. The British Property Federation says in the past year the number of BTR units in with planning permission, under construction or completed in the UK has surged by over 200 per cent to 67,000 units: London has 33,000 and the regions some 34,000.

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    Excellent news! Now we can see the rocketing rents and rent strikes that BTR is already bringing to the student sector. Instead of a local, personal landlord we can line the pockets of a multinational! So much better... not.

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    And the multi-nationals will only probably pay 2-3% tax like Amazon, Google et al.

     
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    And of course Mr Khan is proposing increasing a landlord's cost base further with licensing, so it's yet something else that has to be passed on to the tenants. Brilliant!

    And how exactly does penalising tenants via good landlords help drive bad landlords out of the market? Surely it's the good landlords that will be more likely to leave and make more room for the bad ones!

    It amazes me that the likes of Mr Khan and Councils want to increase landlord costs but at the same time are begging them to take below market rents through Housing Benefit.

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    It's very strange that Labour should support the big Build to Rent operators. I can understand the Tories doing it as these institutions prop up the Tory party finances. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours - otherwise known as corruption. But why would Labour do this? Why do they support the most expensive providers of rented accommodation? They should be backing the private landlords who specialise in the 'social' part of the PRS, where the homes are in people's local communities and not just the city centres, where most homes have gardens (and are not posh boxes in large buildings) and where they often get help with things that a social worker should be doing, like applying for tax credits and so on? These people at the 'bottom' end of the market could never afford these Build to Rent places. Labour seems focused very curiously on those with greater means to afford the astronomical rents, than those whom they should be protecting. What's going on?

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