The department of housing has revealed that its long-expected but delayed renting reform measures are to be bundled up into tomorrow’s Levelling Up White Paper, rather than being launched separately.
Michael Gove (pictured) is expected to include his renting sector proposals in his department’s ‘levelling up’ drive which will include housing, transport, economic development as well as the private rented sector.
The proposals, which are expected to be in the form of a White Paper tomorrow, will include a national landlord register, compulsory redress membership for landlords and a new ‘minimum standard’ of accommodation quality across England to be enforced by local councils.
These are the more ‘levelling up’ elements of the Rent Reform proposals first mooted last year by Ministers, although others including the abolishment of ‘no fault’ Section 21 notice evictions and portable rental deposits, may get included too – or introduced later in separate legislation.
“Dominic Agace (pictured), chief executive of Winkworth, says: “The principle of a landlords’ national register to increase standards is a good one, however, we have to be careful how this is used.
“If it significantly increases the burden on landlord costs, it will be self-defeating as landlords will exit the sector and rents will rise.
“Any register needs to address basic standards for tenants but it also needs to provide incentives for landlords to improve properties, if we want to ensure we have the landlords we need to provide the rental accommodation young professionals need as they start their careers.
“We are already seeing the repercussions of tax changes for landlords, feeding into a shortage of supply and rental increases of up to 20 per cent in some places. We need more quality landlords to enter the sector.”
Sean Hooker (pictured), Head of Redress at the PRS, says: “It is good news that the long-overdue rental sector proposals are being progressed, but I suspect we won’t get the level of detail we need to understand how they will work.”
Read the 2019 consultation.