Private rental sector encouraged by government

A recent report by the government has highlighted the importance of the UK having a thriving private rental sector. The housing strategy that is being used by the government currently means that people with low incomes are having to rent houses in the private sector but they are lacking security. Government ministers have said that they are committing themselves to a scheme that is going to encourage people to build homes so they can be rented out.

The problem with the private rental sector is that there are rogue landlords who can cause problems for tenants. For families this can be a great problem as they might have to enter an unregulated rental market if they cannot afford a property with proper security. This has meant many families are having to move into very poor quality accommodation that has not seen such a boom in the UK since the 1960s.

The cost of renting in the UK is increasing at an alarming rate and housing benefits for people have recently been capped. This has meant that for many people on lower incomes renting a private house has simply become something they cannot afford. In the private sector there are currently three and a half million homes being rented out and it is expected that by 2016 the number of homes that are being rented will be around 20%.

A representative for the National Landlords Association has recently said, “The government have made significant changes to the welfare system in the UK and this has meant that people are unable to get the same amount of housing benefit as they did before. When you combine this with the worsening economic climate people are simply unable to afford the rent that they could before.”

The reduction in the amount of housing benefit has meant that many private landlords are expected to reduce the number of tenants they house who are on benefits. The representative continued, “Unfortunately the government have taking action that is having a negative effect on the housing situation in the UK.”

There is also the additional problem that the price of affordable housing in the UK is increasing. The cost of renting social housing is going to be significantly increased which means that it would not be affordable for the poorest families. It is expected that the cost of social housing will be about 80% of the  of the rate that is seen in the private market.

In the most expensive areas of the country, including London and the south-east, this problem is going to be most pronounced. The government are relying on the private sector to provide homes at an affordable rate for those who cannot even afford social housing, and this is going to lead to very poor living conditions.

The Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive is Grainia Long and she has recently said, “We are wondering where the government are going with their plans as this new system seems to just make housing more expensive.”