Listed residential landlord Grainger has appealed to ministers for more effective incentives and reform of the UK private rented sector.

In a report issued today at Resi 08 and prepared by housing expert Julie Cowans it said the private rented sector was more important than ever as the housing supply and home ownership crisis deepens.

It said that incentives must be put in place to encourage the supply of quality privately rented homes and policy reforms need to strike a balance and recognise residential property as both an investment and a home.

The report recommends:

  • incentives to promote an industry led licensing process with clear codes of conduct to improve standards;
  • that the private rented sector be used as an affordable housing option, with a more secure tenancy deal;
  • the creation of tax credits or investment vehicles specific to residential property to encourage investment;
  • the creation of regulated investment vehicles, linked to values, in which residents can invest - possibly by payments in addition to rent - and use dividends to amass home ownership deposits;
  • flexible planning policies and practices be introduced which allow flexibility of tenure for future market conditions.

The report builds on recommendations made by the British Property Federation.

Rupert Dickinson, chief executive at Grainger, said: 'It is time for the Government to recognise that past policies have acted as a disincentive for the private rented sector.

'The punitive approach of yesterday has not created the quality or quantity of homes that the market needs.

'Tomorrow's policies need to encourage and incentivise improvement and growth. This report suggests some practical ways of achieving long lasting reform that will benefit current and future tenants. If this Government heeds the industry’s advice, they will be credited with the revival of the sector.'

Cowans said: 'The credit crunch has highlighted the need for a flexible, affordable form of housing.

'The current Government review provides the opportunity to encourage greater institutional investment in the sector to drive up numbers and to provide incentives to greatly improve standards, so that a private rented home is a real and affordable housing option for all.'

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