Developers to be banned from building tiny homes


Published : 3rd July 2019

News

The Prime Minister has pledged to introduce new mandatory design regulations setting out clear standards for new-build properties.

The Prime Minister has pledged to ban property developers from building tiny homes with inadequate storage space.

Theresa May is calling for the introduction of mandatory design regulations which set out clear national standards for new-build homes.

She warned that the current lack of universal standards was encouraging a 'race to the bottom' among developers.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s conference, she said: “I cannot accept a system in which owners and tenants are forced to accept tiny homes with inadequate storage.

“Where developers feel the need to fill show homes with deceptively small furniture and where the lack of universal standards encourages a race to the bottom.”

Why is this happening?

A ‘nationally described space standard’, which sets out detailed guidance on the minimum size of new homes, was introduced in 2015.

But the standard is not mandatory and not all local authorities insist on it being adhered to as a condition of granting planning permission.

As a result, some developers have been reducing the size of both properties and individual rooms in order to squeeze in as many units as possible on to a plot of land.

May warned the situation had led to an uneven playing field with different rules in different parts of the country leaving buyers and tenants facing a 'postcode lottery'.

Who does it affect?

The move is good news for people who want to purchase a new-build home as it should ensure developers meet minimum standards on space and design.

People using the Government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme will be particular beneficiaries as they are limited to purchasing a new build property under the terms of the scheme.

But the move could lead to higher property prices, as if developers find they are not able to build as many units on plots of land as they had previously anticipated, they are likely to pass on this cost to buyers.

Given the length of time between when planning permission is granted and when new homes become available, it could also be some time before any change in the rules benefit consumers.

What’s the background?

May also used the conference to confirm the Government was pressing ahead with plans to end no-fault evictions, under which landlords can evict tenants with just eight weeks’ notice, and it would be publishing a consultation paper on the issue shortly.

She also revealed that by this autumn a million new homes would have been created in less than five years.

She said the Government’s reforms, including its £5.5 billion housing infrastructure fund and giving local authorities greater freedom to use brownfield sites, had made it easier for homes to be built in the right places.

But while the increase in the number of new properties being built is good news, the figure is still below the estimated range of between 240,000 to 340,000 new homes that are needed every year just to keep pace with demand.


Top 3 takeaways

The Prime Minister has pledged to ban property developers from building tiny homes with inadequate storage space

Theresa May is calling for the introduction of mandatory design regulations which set out clear national standards for new-build homes

She warned that the current lack of universal standards was encouraging a race to the bottom


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