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Liberal Democrats back more Build To Rent and more online reviews

A Liberal Democrat spokesman has used a lettings sector trade body website to outline his party’s support for a range of private rental initiatives including Build To Rent and the proliferation on online reviews about properties available to let.

Lord Shipley, writing an opinion piece on the Residential Landlords’ Association website, says Lib Dems “want a rental market that is fair for tenants and fair for landlords” - but that allows responsible landlords to run their businesses as they wish.

“So whilst we can and should take all possible steps to ensure that tenants are well-treated by their landlords and that the houses they rent are of appropriate standard, we must also make sure that landlords don’t get taken for a ride by their tenants” he writes.  

Lord Shipley picks out online reviews of tenants, landlords and properties to let as one innovation to be welcomed. “The arrival of systems that operate like ‘TripAdvisor for renting’ should be welcomed for giving both parties to the rental agreement a clearer idea of who they’re working with” he says.

In addition he calls for long-term solutions to the housing shortage, such as an increase in institutionally-funded Build To Rent schemes. 

“There is clearly a growing demand for privately rented accommodation, and Build To Rent can in the right circumstances satisfy some of that demand” he says.

He describes the Conservatives as being “consumed by Brexit and in a perpetual state of conflict between various camps within it” and so distracted from doing anything to solve housing issues. Instead, he claims the Liberal Democrats are “the clear alternative.”

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