What we expect for landlords now Labour is in power

What we expect for landlords now Labour is in power
8th July 2024

The much-anticipated election has concluded with the expected victory for Labour. What does this mean for landlords? Crucially, will the new government's policies support or obstruct landlords' efforts to provide housing for tenants?

According to Allison Thompson, National Lettings Managing Director, Leaders Romans Group (which we're part of): “Labour’s victory in the general election marks a significant turning point for the private rented sector. With their ambitious plans for housing reform, it is crucial that the new government addresses the pressing issues facing both landlords and tenants.”

The new Deputy Prime Minister, Angela Rayner, now also serves as the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, overseeing Labour’s housing policies. Rayner, the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester since May 2015, brings a markedly different background compared to her predecessor, Michael Gove, who was educated at Oxford and led the Oxford Union debating society.

In contrast, Rayner grew up on a council estate and left her local comprehensive school at 16 without any qualifications. She worked as a care worker for the elderly before becoming a trade union representative, eventually rising to become the most senior elected official of UNISON in North-West England. So, what impact might this leadership change have on the housing department, and how do Labour’s policies differ from those of the previous Conservative government?

The good news for landlords is that Labour acknowledges the importance of new housing, with a promise to build 1.5 million homes over the next five years. They also recognise the urgent need for more council and social housing, the scarcity of which is putting pressure on the private rental sector (PRS). According to our recent Lettings Survey, 41% of landlords and 32% of tenants cited this shortage as one of the top three factors driving up demand and, consequently, rents.

However, the new government is likely to lean more in favor of tenants than landlords. The most significant commitment from their manifesto that will affect landlords is the introduction of their renters' charter. This charter is Labour's alternative to the Renters (Reform) Bill, which did not complete its progress through Parliament before the election was called.

Proposals in the renters’ charter include:

  • Ending section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions
  • Ending automatic eviction for rent arrears
  • Introducing a four-month notice period for landlords
  • Giving renters the right to have pets
  • Allowing tenants to make reasonable alterations to a property
  • Introducing a mandatory National Landlords Register
  • The introduction of the Decent Homes Standard for the PRS
  • Stabilising rents by scrapping rent review clauses in tenancy agreements

Ideally, we hope the new government will revive the Renters' Reform Bill in its form just before the election announcement, allowing for swift progress.

Additionally, with Labour's strong support for a 'green' agenda and their pledge to invest £6.6 billion over the next five years into the Warm Homes Plan, rental properties may soon need to achieve a minimum EPC rating of C.

From our perspective, good landlords have little to fear from these changes. If the new government can stabilise the economy, it will support the property market, making renting easier and less volatile.

We are eager to collaborate with the new government to:

  1. Reassess the taxation of good landlords to jointly address the undersupply of rental homes in both social and private sectors.
  2. Provide clear and reasonable guidelines on energy efficiency with realistic and manageable timeframes to enhance sustainability.
  3. Develop housing policies that ensure stability and address the real issues in the sector.

However, we will likely have to wait until the State Opening of Parliament and the King’s Speech on Wednesday, 17th July, to learn what the government will prioritise in their first 100 days and beyond.

If you would like to discuss any of the policies Labour has revealed so far, feel free to contact your nearest branch. Our lettings experts are always here to help.

Looking for advice?

If you're looking to let or sell your property, we can help. Get in touch with your local branch or book in for a property valuation.

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