We would like to congratulate Gavin Barwell on his appointment and welcome him to his new role.
This is a crucial time for housing, with demand greatly outstripping supply and an urgent need to reshape Britain’s housing mix.
We worked closely with the previous administration to increase transparency in the UK property sector, and remain very supportive of the need for a beneficial ownership register.
Transparency is particularly a problem in London where housing stock has become a vehicle for money laundering operations, so we applaud the decision to provide the minister with a dual oversight for London.
The government’s decision to sell the Land Registry risks reversing its good work on transparency, and we call on the new minister to work with the new business, energy and industrial strategy department to think again on this proposal.
Secondly, it is also essential that Barwell honours the commitment of his predecessor to bring forward a review of the need for mandatory client money protection for letting agents, following the discretionary powers that were brought in as part of the Housing and Planning Act. Only this can provide the adequate level of protection for landlords and tenants alike.
These challenges are not insurmountable, and we greatly look forward to working with the new minister to find a solution to these issues in the months and years ahead.
David Cox, managing director of ARLA