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Regulator probing into housebuilding industry

Britain’s housebuilding industry is being put under the microscope from the competition regulator for issues like land banking.

The Competition and Markets Authority has apparently “identified concerns” with the industry, while the regulator has been looking into the issue for the past six months.

Michael Gove, the housing secretary, wrote to the CMA asking it to investigate the sector last year, in a bid to boost supply.

He argued that an investigation is overdue, having not taken place for 14 years.

The regulator has already spoken to developers, homeowners and local authorities.

Sarah Cardell, the chief executive of the CMA, said: “The CMA alone can’t resolve the problems in the UK housing market.

“But we have a role to play and will do our part to help ensure the private rental and housebuilding markets work better for people and businesses.”

Another issue that’s hot on the agenda is charges for owners of homes built on housing estates.

Concerns about the private rental sector raised with the CMA include no deposit schemes, where tenants don’t have to pay a deposit but may have other liabilities.

Another issue is tenants being issues sham licenses rather than assured tenancies.

Finally the CMA is also looking into landlords discriminating against tenants with benefits.