Fierce lobbying over parts of the Fairer Renting White Paper could see it watered down before it becomes law, predicts one property boss.
Its release after years of delay and fervent speculation was merely the first step, with uncertainty due to linger until the reforms actually make it into law, says Nick Lyons, CEO of inventory services provider No Letting Go.
“The devil will be in the detail, which is lacking at the moment,” says Lyons. “For example, many landlords do not accept pets so there will be particular opposition to the idea of tenants finding it much easier to keep pets in their rental homes, unless they have some means to protect themselves against extra cleaning, excessive wear or damage at end of tenancy. There is every chance this could be watered down to appease frustrated landlords by the time it gets to Parliament.”
Lyons says much engagement has already been had on the issue of rental reform, but it’s likely that more consultation and feedback will be sought before the final version of the Bill is presented to Parliament. He believes it will continue to be a slow and complex journey particularly due to controversial reforms such as tenants being the ones to decide when a tenancy ends and what constitutes a valid reason for landlords to end a tenancy. “That is likely to still take some time as intense lobbying and opposition goes on behind the scenes,” says Lyons.
“I’d be surprised if rental reforms were introduced before the end of the year, so 2023 seems far more likely,” he adds. “There isn’t that chronic sense of limbo anymore – which is welcome – but equally there’s going to be a few more months of uncertainty yet to tolerate.”