Why the war on landlords will turn up a notch under Labour

The Telegraph has published an opinion piece stating that the landscape for landlords in the UK is facing significant changes and challenges, particularly with potential reforms to the rental sector under consideration by both the Conservative and Labour parties. The article can be read here (subscription may be necessary) and covers:

  1. Conservative Government’s Approach:
    • Nearly a decade of shrinking tax relief for landlords under the Conservative government has led to financial pressures.
    • Threats of expensive regulation, such as the Renters Reform Bill, have further tightened the freedoms landlords have over their properties.
    • Concerns about lengthy court processes, especially with the potential abolition of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions, and the introduction of rolling contracts, are causing uncertainty among landlords.
    • The number of new landlords instructing estate agents has been in negative territory since 2021.
  2. Labour Party’s Perspective:
    • Labour’s review of the rental sector is expected to be published soon, and the party’s shadow housing minister, Matthew Pennycook, has proposed amendments to the Renters Reform Bill.
    • Labour aims to ban no-fault evictions immediately, even if the courts are not prepared, and wants to close loopholes in the bill, such as increasing controls over rent increases and toughening penalties for non-compliance.
    • Labour also wants to introduce tighter rules for landlords, such as delaying their ability to claim intention to sell or move in with a family member for at least two years of a tenancy and imposing a “hardship test” for eviction grounds.
  3. Proposed Amendments to the Renters Reform Bill:
    • Labour proposes amendments to contest rent increases and ensure tenants have the right to bring their pets with them.
    • Additionally, Labour wants landlords to upgrade properties’ energy efficiency to at least an EPC rating of C by 2028, with a maximum expenditure of £10,000.

Overall, the potential changes outlined by both the Conservative and Labour parties could significantly impact the rental sector, with landlords facing increased regulation, tighter rules, and financial pressures.

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