HC Deb 26 July 1993 vol 229 c695W
Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what measures he is taking to revive the private rented sector; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young

We are keen to revive the private rented sector. The deregulation measures in the Housing Act 1988, which introduced assured and assured shorthold tenancies at market rents for most new lettings, was designed to encourage landlords to bring their property onto the market.

We have also launched a number of specific initiatives including 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 annual amount of the rent is no more than £3,250; the flats over shops scheme, under which £25 million is being 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.

I am exploring other measures to build on what has been achieved so far.