min read

Tycoon urges ALL rental homes to be inspected regularly

julian richer housing

A leading businessman has entered the political fray with a book in which he lays out his ideas on how to solve the housing crisis including planning and rental market reform.

Councils could turn on the housing supply tap at scale if a little-known law was repealed, giving them the power to compulsorily purchase land at existing use value.

Richer Sounds founder Julian Richer firstly tackles housing supply in ‘Our Housing Disaster, (pictured) setting out how changes to compulsory purchase law could release land for developments.

Richer says the Land Compensation Act of 1961 forces the government to compensate landowners for its potential value, making state-built housing schemes unaffordable.

Writing in The Times, the retailer, who has a keen interest in property, says landowners and developers should pay for planning permission, which would fund much-needed social housebuilding. Instead, most of the uplift in UK land values arising from planning permission currently remains uncaptured by the state, explains Richer.

“Capturing it would allow us to replace much-discredited Section 106 agreements, which ask developers to make contributions that benefit the surrounding area. The existing Community Infrastructure Levy should also be updated to charge developers for the full cost of linking their projects to roads and sewerage.”


In the books Richer also sets out a manifesto to address the housing crisis, calling for priority reform for renters, including the extension of assured short-hold tenancies for up to five years by mutual agreement and the statutory inspection of private sector rental properties, with councils taking tough action against rogue landlords.

He also suggests scrapping Right to Buy along with taxpayer-funded subsidised home ownership schemes which he says only push up prices and do nothing for the less well-off.

“The housing supply disaster can be addressed only by politicians working together beyond the usual four-year cycle, and through a change in mindset,” adds Richer.

“Good-quality social housing is the best way out of our crisis. Social renting should be a valid option for people from all walks of life and the stock should be well maintained and well managed.”

Order the book here.

Pic credits: Shutterstock/Brown Books.


Rogue landlords