Housing minister Alok Sharma has come under attack after making his first major speech since his appointment 93 days ago, which sadly failed to impress.
Speaking at yesterday’s Resi conference, Sharma – who is also planning minister – said that in the last five years there had been five planning ministers.
However, he did not mention how many housing ministers have in recent years gone through the revolving door.
In his speech, he referred to the terrible start his own tenure had, with the Grenfell Tower fire the day after he took office.
He said that more homes needed to be built faster, whether to buy or rent, with an improvement in design and quality. A new consultation is being launched.
He referred to rent controls, pledging: “Let me be absolutely clear, under this Government rent controls are not going to happen.”
On the lettings fee ban, he made it clear that this will happen, saying: “The Government also wants to see all tenants receiving a good, fair and affordable service from landlords and letting agents.
“So we will publish a Bill to ban letting fees paid by tenants in England. I know many of you in the build to rent sector do not charge upfront fees to your customers.
“But a ban will help to deliver a more competitive, more affordable and more transparent lettings market across the rest of the sector.
“We are also committed to improving standards. In April we brought in tougher measures targeting rogue landlords, including civil penalties of up to £30,000 and an extension of rent repayment orders.
“These powers give authorities the tools to crack down on the minority of landlords who disregard the law and take advantage of tenants.”
However the public still have no clear or concise answers to any of the above issues raised.