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RICS comment on Queen's Speech - Details needed fast if Help to Buy is to succeed and more red tape for landlords8th May 2013

Commenting on the Queen’s Speech today, Stephen Thornton, UK Director of External Affairs for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said:

“The Government’s focus on the delivery of HS2 in the Queen’s Speech is crucial to creating jobs and trade links around the country but unfortunately not until a distant point in the future. We need investment in smaller transport projects and improving our existing networks now otherwise there will be little left of our Midland and Northern cities by the time HS2 is built. It is extremely disappointing that there was nothing in the Queen’s Speech that will begin improving our country’s transport networks today.

“Help To Buy has great potential to get more homes built and more people onto the property ladder but the Government needs to quickly announce the detail of the scheme, particularly how it intends to deal with buy to let properties and those in negative equity. Without urgent attention to detail, Government could end up with the opposite of what it intended – rising prices with many more locked out of the property market forever.

“Government’s proposals to introduce a duty on all landlords to ensure that their tenants are in the UK legally will impose more red tape on all landlords, particularly the growing number of amateur buy to let landlords. Government must also make sure that the proposals do not increase costs to renters which they can often ill afford. ‘Amateur’ landlords operate without proper training or guidance, putting themselves and their tenants at risk. The Government has stubbornly refused to look at introducing better laws to protect both landlords and tenants – it is unacceptable that it expects the property industry to deliver its immigration policy.

“Although the Queen’s Speech introduces potentially radical changes to pensions and social care, the real shape of the Government’s agenda to 2015 will be determined by the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on 26 June and in the pace of the UK’s, the EU’s and global economic recovery. It remains to be seen whether this will deliver the real boost to construction, transport and home building our country needs.”

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