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RICS calls for Help to Rent scheme

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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has demanded more government support for the private rental sector
RICS calls for Help to Rent scheme

RICS has published a report on affordable homes, which accuses the government of neglecting the rental sector while focussing its attention on homebuyers via schemes such as Help to Buy.

The surveyors’ group points out that the rental sector has become a key part of the UK housing market, and that its importance is set to grow still further, but that more must be done to encourage private landlords to rent to ‘middle-income’ tenants, and to help tenants afford decent rental property.

RICs suggests replacing the current ‘Right to Buy’ scheme for council house tenants with a portable home ownership discount, where the government provides funds for tenants who manage to save, avoid rent arrears and manage their homes effectively. After three years of renting, these tenants would be able to access this discount in order to purchase a different property.

The report stated: “There is a new ‘Help to Buy’ policy but no new ‘Help to Rent’. We believe that this emphasis is strategically unwise.

“It ignores the fundamental changes in the UK housing market since the mid-1990s that has involved an increased share of people under 35 who now rent their homes, for longer periods, and that it is private rental supply increases that have housed growing household numbers in this millennium.”

The report also called for older homeowners downsizing to be exempt from Stamp Duty in order to encourage them to move home.

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