Landlords and the wider rented sector face more uncertainty after it was announced this morning that housing minister Lucy Frazer, who has only been in post since October last year, is to become secretary of state at the new department of Culture, Media and Sport.
In private at least, the news is unlikely to be welcomed by industry leaders as Frazer’s replacement, who is yet to be announced, will be the be the 15th housing minister since the 2010 election and the 6th in the past 12 months.
Frazer had been welcomed by leading housing organisations and figures because she is a landlord.
As we reported on her appointment to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) at the time, there were hopes the private rented sector would have a new voice within the government.
Frazer rents out a property in London and also defended the government’s decision to stand down eviction protections for residential tenants after the pandemic.
She told BBC Question Time in 2021 that tenants had been “protected for a long period of time”, adding “it is important that landlords can take control where necessary”.
Frazer is also being rewarded for her loyalty – after his successful bid to become Prime Minister, she publicly backed Sunak, tweeting: “I am confident that our principled and tremendously capable PM will lead us effectively through these economically challenging times”.
During her brief stint at DHLUC towers she got involved in property industry reform, short-lets regulation and the looming Renters Reform Bill.
Frazer is the MP for South-East Cambridgeshire since 2015, she had a brief spell as transport minister during Liz Truss’s premiership and was previously treasury minister and a minister in the Ministry of Justice.
She has also been solicitor general and before becoming an MP was a practising barrister.
Frazer’s move coincides with major changes to Whitehall including a new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, which will be now overseeing the EPC upgrade deadline and its funding for landlords, headed up by Grant Shapps.