Housing tenants might be given additional protections and housebuilders pressured to alter 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 could “want to seek out” any competitors points that is perhaps holding again home constructing within the UK.
“The standard and price of housing is likely one of the largest points going through the nation,” mentioned CMA chief government Sarah Cardell.
The watchdog pledged to take a look at 4 areas in the home constructing sector – construct high quality, land administration, innovation, and oversight by native authorities. It mentioned that it could examine whether or not the apply of “banking” land is anti-competitive.
That is when a property developer buys a plot to construct on sooner or later 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, mentioned Britain was passing up on a close to £18bn financial enhance as a result of authorities and companies’ “failure to construct sufficient new” properties,.
In a foreword to a report by assume tank Coverage Alternate Lewis mentioned many years 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 bear in mind how truthful property administration charges are for issues like “unadopted” roads and facilities, the CMA mentioned.
The authority additionally plans to take a look at the “end-to-end expertise” that tenants undergo when renting a property. This may embrace discovering someplace to stay, renting and transferring between properties.
“The undertaking will look at the connection between tenants and landlords and the position of intermediaries, similar to letting brokers,” it mentioned.
Ms Cardell mentioned: “If there are competitors points holding again housebuilding in Britain then we have to discover them. However we additionally must be reasonable that extra competitors alone gained’t unlock a home constructing increase.
“In the identical vein, we wish to discover the experiences individuals have of the rental sector and whether or not there are points right here that the CMA may help with.
“We’ll 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 handle them.”