Improvements To Private Renting, Planning Processes And New Build Redress Schemes

James Brokenshire, the Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) made a number of important announcements concerning the property market on Thursday (June 27th) afternoon.

In addition to the various changes to the leasehold sector, Mr Brokenshire also announced improvements to private renting, planning processes and new build redress schemes.

The Government are looking to introduce deposit passporting into the private rental sector.

Having been critical of the clumsy and slow return of rental deposits, the Government have aimed to introduce a process of creating a more streamlined system whereby the deposit money would follow the renter from home to home rather then them having to find a second deposit whilst they wait for their money to be returned by their previous landlord.

The Government believe this will avoid many of the 4 million renters from falling into debt or remaining trapped in their current rental home because they are unable to find the money to make a new home move.

Ministers are now inviting proposals to make it easier for renters to transfer deposits directly between landlords and could gather greater traction in the future.

The MHCLG Secretary also alluded to an imminent planning green paper set for release later this year. It has been claimed that the contents will make it easier for councils and local authorities to approve planning applications more quickly by removing unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy from the process.

A New Homes Ombudsman is also ready in the wings as the government are looking for more good quality homes to be built in the future. A new redress consultation for the purchasers of new build property was launched last week and is looking for input into the proposed legislation.

In a bid to ensure a new system will fully benefit the public, the consultation will also look at appointing a shadow New Homes Ombudsman to ensure “improvements and standards are delivered quickly and help shape the future scheme.

Whilst these announcements could make a positive difference to the current property market, it is thought that a new look Conservative Government under the leadership of Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson could derail all new plans.

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of HomeOwners Alliance, says:

“We have been eagerly been waiting for further details from Government on the New Homes Ombudsman and support their move to act in advance of legislation to set up a voluntary scheme that all developers will be required to join it if they want access to the next Help to Buy round.

“Builders ought to build right first time but for too long there has been a lack of consumer protection and redress for people who buy new homes and find them riddled with snags and faults. Levels of complaints are going up and we hear first hand on a regular basis from our members the heartache it causes when things do not go to plan. Let’s hope the political changes that will occur will not result in the government changing tack.”

Will these changes improve the rights of the consumer and help to encourage an improved build quality by developers?

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