News Article

white paper

The White Paper

If you work in lettings, I’ll already have a pretty good idea on how you feel about the current Conservative Government and the recent White Paper 

The ruling party, however, recently had a chance to win back the affections of the property industry. And failed.

This February saw Communities Secretary Sajid Javid deliver the much-awaited Housing Paper. Its contents are set to shape how this country develops and builds new housing, as well as protect the interests of both home owners and tenants. 

I’m sure you’ve drawn your own conclusions but the content and the fall-out are telling. 

Here’s what we learnt about the current Government post White Paper:

The Government doesn’t want man-on-the-street involved in buy-to-let 

The White Paper did nothing to reassure small, private landlords that they were still welcome in the lettings industry, with a heightened shift towards institutional investment in mass Build-to-Rent schemes. 

Private landlords are already facing punitive tax measures and increasing amounts of red tape in order to run a legally-compliant let but instead of punishing them, private landlords should be encouraged to step in and address the supply-and-demand situation, as they can do so at speed.

The Government’s plans are as clear as mud

Just as there’s no real detail or concrete plan attached to the scrapping of tenants’ fees, the threat of compulsory three-year tenancies came with a massive backtrack and correction without 48 hours of the White Paper’s publication. 

Housing minister Gavin Barwell had to clarify that private landlords will not be required to offer longer tenancies, pointing out that this idea would only apply to housing associations, local authorities and institutional investors developing homes in the Build-to-Rent sector.

The Government is determined to lock people into long lets

The current fascination with long-term tenancy agreements is totally misplaced. Three year agreements may bring comfort for families but they ignore the fact that many landlords are not allowed to offer longer tenancies as part of their mortgage agreement, and also glosses over the fact that 6 or 12 month tenancies bring the flexibility that many tenants enjoy. It’s another red flag pointing towards institutional investment.

The Government really doesn’t understand house building

We have a labour/skills shortage. We have developers who land bank, putting profits before purchasers. 

We have consecutive Governments who liked to tinker and make bold claims about how many homes would be built during their term. 

Sadly, each Government has failed to deliver and merely self-perpetuates the cycle of demand/supply and rising house prices. In a bid to cut red tape, each Government seems to only create more administration, and the speed at which new homes are delivered – whether that’s to buy or rent – remains at a snail’s pace. 

Furthermore, many of the homes built are offered overseas first, cutting the number of properties actually available to UK buyers drastically. 

We’d be interested to hear what you would have included in the White Paper.

  • Stuarts Property Services
    Reviewed from Google

    4.8 out of 5 stars

    Terry M
    Terry M

    5 out of 5 stars

    posted 2 months ago

    I've rented through Stuart's for 5 1/2 years and Colin and the team have always been friendly and helpful. Any maintenance required was dealt with quickly and efficiently and I was always kept informed if anyone needed access when I was away from the flat.

    I have recently left the flat which has been my home for the past 5 1/2 years and the leaving process was hassle free and simple and my deposit returned without delay.

    Thanks to everyone at Stuarts for making my rental a pleasant and enjoyable one.

    Carmel Waugh
    Carmel Waugh

    5 out of 5 stars

    posted 1 month ago

    We have rented through Stuarts Property Services for over 7 years and can’t fault the service. Repairs and enquiries are dealt with very swiftly and hassle free. Communication is excellent with particular thanks to Margaret who is very professional and responds to enquiries in a timely manner. Thanks again Margaret.

    Would highly recommend, not one issue in 7 years which speaks for itself.

    Katie Davies
    Katie Davies

    5 out of 5 stars

    posted 2 months ago

    Stuarts property services are an excellent company. Their customer service delivery is exceptional. All of the staff are friendly and professional and are clearly passionate in what they do. I cannot rate this organisation highly enough!!