Thursday, 16 February 2017

The delicate balance of ‘build to rent’

a blog post by Lindsay Judge for Resolution Foundation

How times change. Twenty five year ago less than one in ten families rented their home from a private landlord; today that figure stands at close to one in five. Renting is no longer the tenure of just the footloose and fancy-free who prize the flexibility that it offers. The private rented sector (PRS) is increasingly a place where families settle down, bring up their children and build a home.

But here’s the rub: the PRS in the UK is not well-suited to this new task. In contrast to many of our continental neighbours and the US, our PRS is highly fragmented and unprofessional. Renting out property is a side-line for most UK landlords: recent research has shown, for example, that over 60 per cent own a single unit while just 7 per cent own five or more. The result? Too often a low quality home, with limited security of tenure, and a high price tag.

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