The PRS revolution

Gemma Harle

January 28, 2014

Brian Kilroy, business development manager at BLP Insurance

If we are going to meet the increasing demand for property in the UK over the next five to seven years then additional housing is urgently required. Key to this will be the government’s support of their new Private Rented Sector Task Force, set up to help kick-start a new, better, bigger private rented sector (PRS) and revolutionise the way that new homes are built for the rental market.

They will not only need to ensure the provision of sufficient stock for the Private Rented Sector but also provide guidance to make sure that the properties are going to be both sustainable and cost effective if the initiative is to be successful in meeting the ever-rising demand. Producing housing that fails to meet this criteria is not a solution as it just becomes a bigger problem over time as we end up with accommodation that doesn’t fit with changing needs. The taskforce will produce guidelines around design for construction and management to help improve the quality, workmanship and maintenance requirements of anticipated stock which should make it much more sustainable for the future.

Younger people and Key Workers, or ‘generation rent’ as they are known as, should be given priority for this initiative, as these people are used to renting through university or otherwise and are more likely to continue doing so as they move into their adult life. It is the intention of the initiative for the housing stock to be used for new workers to create thriving young professional communities and avoid the mistakes created by the social engineering of the past. 

While we are unlikely to start seeing the benefits of this initiative for another 12-18 months, it can only be a positive step in terms of the provision of more housing which is urgently required for those saving for a deposit or who are unable to afford their own homes. The consumer should also benefit from improved choice and a better build quality. It seems as though the government is finally giving the private rented sector the support and means for development that it deserves. 

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