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General Election 2024; Setting the standard

With the election now just a few short weeks away campaigning is in full swing, with proposals on housing high on the political agenda.

Recent research from the NRLA in partnership with Goodlord suggests around half of landlords and agents still undecided, the property sector’s vote is still very much up for grabs, so we were keen to see what parties had planned for the sector.

Ambitious housebuilding targets are included in both the Conservative and Labour manifestos as is a commitment to rental reform and the abolition of section 21 – the so-called ‘no fault’ eviction.

Reform – while light on detail on standards – has gone all-out for the landlord vote, pledging to abolish changes to mortgage interest relief, axe stamp duty on homes below £750,000 and ditching rental reform.

Property standards and compliance

Despite the importance of property standards and the provision of safe and secure homes to the country’s millions of renters, surprisingly few column inches are devoted to the subject across the manifestos.

During the last parliament proposals to apply the Decent Homes Standards to the PRS had widespread support, so it would seem likely these plans will make a comeback, however only the Green Party includes an election pledge on this.

Labour does, however, commit to ‘raising standards decisively’ in private renting, including proposals to apply Awaab’s Law to the PRS.

This was introduced in the wake of the tragic death of toddler Awaab Ishak, who died as a result of exposure to mould in his socially rented home and is legislation which requires social housing providers to investigate and address hazards in properties within certain timeframes. 

The Conservative government had launched a consultation on the issue in January this year but did not publish the response or set the timeframe ahead of the election being called, so it is unclear what these would be in practice.

Should these proposals be brought forward setting appropriate timescales would be challenging as, while social housing providers have dedicated full-time repair teams, the PRS, reliant, as it is, on independent tradespeople may find it harder to find people to do the work in time.

Property portal

A key element of the Conservatives’ Renters (Reform) Bill– which fell at the final hurdle after the election was called – was the introduction of an electronic ‘property portal’ and an ombudsman for the private rented sector.

Billed as an online space where landlords would ‘register their properties and demonstrate compliance’, for example by uploading safety certificates, it is conspicuous by its absence from either the Conservative or Labour manifesto, with only the Lib Dems explicitly committing to it.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency has been flagged as a major issue. While Rishi Sunak abolished proposals to introduce a minimum energy efficiency standard of C for all rented properties by 2028, both Labour and the Conservatives have pledged around £6 billion to upgrade homes in their manifestos.

Labour has taken this a step further, however, by saying it will introduce minimum ratings by 2030, although it fails to explain what these standards could be.

Other parties have gone further, with Lib Dems committing to making all PRS homes hit EPC C by 2028, and the Green Party which proposes to invest 45 billion on energy efficiency measures.

Regardless of who is triumphant on 4 July, standards in the PRS will be a major issue going forward – and with both major parties committing to rental reform, in some form or another, it is likely there is change ahead.

Working together

Tenants deserve quality and compliant homes to live in –and responsible landlords are committed to providing them.

The NRLA will work with the new government to make sure that whatever is proposed is reasonable and fair to landlords and tenants – and that there is a workable timetable for change.

In the meantime, to ensure you remain compliant with current legislation, you can sign up to Safe2, a digital platform providing of all forms of property safety certification.

Part of the NRLA family, Safe2 is a one-stop-shop for all things compliance, sending alerts when documents are due to expire, organising inspections and repairs and issuing certificates.

More information

·        For more information on Safe2 and its services visit

·        Please follow our social media channels and keep an eye on the NRLA news site for all the latest on the General Election and rental reform going forwards – as well as checking out the latest on the party manifestos on the NRLA’s dedicated General Election Hub.

·        Members can also access a recent webinar taking a deep dive into the individual party manifestos here.


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