Boris's build-to-rent guidance praised

The guidance, issued for consultation, said positive support should be given for long-term private rented products through the land use planning system at local as well as strategic level, recognising in local plans how the private rented sector can address distinct needs.

In addition it said long-term private rented products would be particularly suitable for certain locations - for example town centre intensification and transport nodes.

And it called for greater support for long-term private rented products through development management.

The BPF said it was interested in how this might affect local authorities; in particular the suggestion that a covenant can be used to secure developments as rented for a defined period and take account of the different viability of the sector in public land deals and s106 negotiations.

Ian Fletcher, director of real estate policy at the British Property Federation, said: “The Mayor is at the forefront of recognising the contribution that build-to-rent can make to the quantity and quality of rented homes in London.

“Institutional investors like clarity, and this draft SPG provides further guidance across a range of issues, recognising the distinct economics of the sector, and what developers and local authorities can do and expect.”

Fletcher also welcomed the guidance paper’s suggestion that to protect local authorities’ positions, should the owner seek to sell the units instead of renting them, local authorities should also consider clawback agreements that provide for the contribution amount on the level of affordable housing that would have been viable on the scheme if it was for traditional market sale.

He added: “The BPF supports developers and boroughs considering including discounted market rent (intermediate rent) as the affordable offer and welcomes the London Housing Strategy’s target of 5,000 homes per annum from build-to-rent.”