Housing tenants might be given additional protections and housebuilders compelled to vary their practices, the competitors watchdog has warned.
The Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) has introduced a probe into the constructing and rental sectors, saying it will “want to search out” any competitors points that could be holding again home constructing within the UK.
“The standard and value of housing is among the greatest points dealing with the nation,” stated CMA chief govt Sarah Cardell.
The watchdog pledged to have a look at 4 areas in the home constructing sector – construct high quality, land administration, innovation, and oversight by native authorities. It stated that it will examine whether or not the apply of “banking” land is anti-competitive.
That is when a property developer buys a plot to construct on in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later, however then doesn’t develop it for a very long time.
It’s estimated corporations are sitting on sufficient land to construct tons of of hundreds of properties throughout the nation.
Final week Brandon Lewis, ex-housing and planning minister, stated Britain was passing up on a close to £18bn financial increase because of the authorities and companies’ “failure to construct sufficient new” properties,.
In a foreword to a report by assume tank Coverage Alternate Lewis stated a long time of weak housing provide has taken its toll on households “within the type of increased home costs, increased rents and better month-to-month mortgage repayments”.
The investigation will consider how truthful property administration charges are for issues like “unadopted” roads and facilities, the CMA stated.
The authority additionally plans to have a look at the “end-to-end expertise” that tenants undergo when renting a property. This can embody discovering someplace to dwell, renting and transferring between properties.
“The challenge will look at the connection between tenants and landlords and the position of intermediaries, akin to letting brokers,” it stated.
Ms Cardell stated: “If there are competitors points holding again housebuilding in Britain then we have to discover them. However we additionally have to be sensible that extra competitors alone gained’t unlock a home constructing growth.
“In the identical vein, we need to discover the experiences individuals have of the rental sector and whether or not there are points right here that the CMA will help with.
“We are going to after all be guided by the proof, but when we discover competitors or client safety issues we’re ready to take the steps vital to deal with them.”