Lettings Agency Concerns Over Labour’s Renters Reform Bill Plans

A lettings agency, Leaders Romans Group (LRG), which broadly supports the Renters Reform Bill, has expressed concerns over Labour’s intention to scrap Section 21 “on day one” of a Labour government. The national lettings director, Allison Thompson, highlighted these concerns, emphasizing the need for a thoughtful approach to the proposed changes.

Scrapping Section 21

Section 21 Concerns:

  • Labour’s Stance: Angela Rayner, the shadow housing secretary, announced that Labour would ban Section 21 evictions immediately upon coming to power.
  • Agency’s Reaction: LRG finds this approach alarming as it lacks the necessary caveats and preparation. The Conservatives had planned to reform the court system before scrapping Section 21, which LRG considered a more measured approach.
  • Impact on Rental Market: Thompson stresses the importance of understanding the effects of losing Section 21 before making such a significant change. She supports the bulk of the Renters Reform Bill but believes thorough consideration and planning are crucial.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Ratings

EPC Requirements:

  • Current Situation: The requirement for landlords to achieve an EPC grade C was recently scrapped by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak due to the high costs involved.
  • Labour’s Proposal: Labour has indicated that it will enforce higher energy efficiency standards, claiming it will save private renters £250 a year.
  • Challenges for Landlords: Thompson calls for a realistic approach, considering the challenges and costs landlords face in making energy efficiency improvements. She emphasizes the need for clear timeframes and reasonable requirements.

Broader Implications

Political Context:

  • Labour’s Position: Labour criticizes the Conservatives for their delays and failures in addressing renters’ issues, such as no-fault evictions and poor housing conditions.
  • Future Legislation: Both parties have proposed reforms, but the approach and timeline differ significantly, affecting landlords and renters.

Conclusion: LRG supports many aspects of the Renters Reform Bill but urges a careful and considered implementation of changes, particularly concerning Section 21 evictions and EPC ratings. Ensuring that reforms are practical and manageable for landlords while protecting tenants’ rights remains a key focus for the agency

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