§ 37. Mr. Hendry
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to boost the private rented sector.
§ Sir George Young
We have already taken action to boost the private rented sector by introducing deregulation measures in the Housing Act 1988 to encourage landlords to bring their property on to the market. Landlords are now able to let property under assured and assured shorthold tenancies and charge market rents.
Specific initiatives launched last year include the rent-a-room scheme, under which householders no longer have to pay tax on rent from a lodger in their home if the gross amount of the rent is no more than £3,250, the flats-over-shops scheme, under which £25 million is being 547W made available through local authorities over three years to bring flats over shops back into residential use, and, the housing associations as managing agents scheme, which allows housing associations to act as an intermediary between potential private landlords and tenants in order to encourage more empty property to be let.