White Paper fall-out - private rental sector set to contract

Posted on Monday, July 4, 2022

It looks as if the private rental sector will contract as a result of the threat of new regulations contained in the recent government White Paper. 

The Fairer Rental Sector White Paper proposes the abolition of Section 21 evictions, as well as the removal of the blanket bans on renting with pets and to those with children or on benefits, and doubling notice periods for rent increases. All properties will also, eventually, have to abide by a Decent Homes Standard. 

Now the latest survey of landlord sentiment by Total Landlord Insurance found that 60 per cent of landlords oppose the abolition of Section 21 evictions. 

Fifty-seven per cent also oppose tenants being permitted to rent with a pet unless they can reasonably refuse. Fifty-nine per cent were also against plans to make a blanket ban on tenants renting with children or with the support of benefits illegal.

However, 60 per cent are in favour of giving tenants stronger powers to cease arbitrary rent review clauses such as unjustified rent increases. Fifty-eight per cent also support plans to double notice periods when rent increases are justifiably implemented.

Most notably, 89 per cent were behind the creation of a new ombudsman to deal with rental market disputes. 

Some 17 per cent of landlords say the latest changes would spur them to reduce the size of their portfolio.

Hamilton Fraser Group chief executive Eddie Hooker says: “We’ve waited with bated breath for three years to hear the detail of the government’s proposed rental market reforms and while it’s fair to say that their latest plans are rather tenant focussed, any attempts to improve the sector are extremely welcome and should improve standards for all stakeholders regardless of what side of the tenancy agreement they stand on.

“Despite this, our latest gauge on landlord sentiment shows that the vast majority are in favour of greater tenant protection and a fairer, more level playing field across the rental sector. 

“However, while they are happy to see tenant welfare increase, they are also understandably protective of their investment portfolio and don’t want to be powerless when it comes to removing rogue tenants, or preventing potential damages to their properties.”

Via @LettingAgentToday