Tuesday, 19 July 2011

New All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector

Forty-eight Members of Parliament and Peers from across the political parties yesterday established a new All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector.

While various other attempts have been made to form such a committee, this is the first time one has actually got off the ground.

The Group will aim to inform policy towards private rented housing and has been formed at a time when changes to housing benefit, regulatory issues and the increasing demands being placed on the sector are highlighting the growing significance of private rented housing.

Speaking ahead of the Group’s formation, Conservative MP for Poole, Robert Syms who has led on forming it said:

“With waiting lists for social housing continuing to increase and home ownership remaining difficult for many, private rented accommodation is becoming increasingly important to meeting the UK’s housing needs.

“The establishment of this All Party Group will enable MPs and Peers from all parties to engage directly with landlords and tenants to consider issues of importance and where appropriate, agree on recommendations for action by government.”

Responding, Alan Ward, Chairman of the Residential Landlords Association who will provide the secretariat to the Group said:

“The RLA wholeheartedly supports the decision by MPs and Peers to establish a cross party group for the private rented sector. This will enable landlords, tenants and other stakeholders to engage in a constructive dialogue with Parliament on how to meet increasing demand whilst ensuring high standards of housing and management.

“The RLA looks forward to playing its part in supporting the Group to meet its aims, objectives and programme of work.”

Vice-chairmen of the Group are Paul Goggins, a Labour MP, and Liberal Democrat MP David Ward.

NetRent Comment

We welcome this initiative which gives the private rented sector a much needed focal point within Parliament. Landlords need to engage with this Parliamentary Group and have their voice heard loud and clear.

The Government has calculated that there are over one million landlords in the UK and their voice and their experiences need to be heard within Parliament.