An interesting study reckons the way to sort out the rental market in London would be to encourage bigger brands and longer lets with branded build to let schemes. Now I can definitely see the attraction in this, because if I’m going to rent a property I’d rather it was modern, and well built, with someone caring for the whole block. Obviously if there’s a single owner this would be a good idea, and when you look at the proportion of new build flats that are bought solely to let as an investment there must be mileage in building such properties to be let.
Also, if I’m paying a more sensible rent for a higher quality property then I’ll either not want to buy a place or when I do I’ll actually have more of a deposit together thus negating the need to look for one of the now disappeared 125% mortgages.
There’s definitely the germ of a good idea in this, and it could be approached as a green policy if it helped foster a form of letting that encouraged owners to invest in energy efficiency and the like. Certainly as tenants move house more often than owners they are far more likely to make some form of choice based on a Home Information Pack like energy rating. And this is exactly the kind of scheme I had in my head when I objected to the new office block at the bottom of my road and instead suggested the council build something I could afford to rent/buy and live in.
And if you want to read the actual report it’s over here.