The government has created a “half-baked cake” in the Renters Reform Bill, leaving the PRS desperate for clarity, says one industry boss.
After its decision to pause the long-promised scrapping of Section 21 evictions, there has been no indication of how long this will take or exactly how it will be achieved, according to Daniel Evans, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, who believes this has left the entire sector and all those who supply it in limbo.
“While it is encouraging that the government has recognised that the court system needs to be upgraded and the current waiting time for hearings massively reduced…we’ve been told that there are some measures that may or may not be added at a later stage,” says Evans. “As the Bill stands currently it’s like a half-baked cake.”
Meanwhile, there are not enough available homes to satisfy hard-pressed tenants and landlords are holding fire on investment due to a lack of clarity over a government vision for the PRS. Demand for rented properties has gone through the roof because many thousands of landlords have already sold up and left the sector – some fearing the abolition of Section 21.
“Potential first-time buyers are staying in rented accommodation longer because higher interest rates and tougher mortgage rules have made it harder for them to get on the property ladder,” adds Evans.
He says the recent decision to pause plans to introduce tougher Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for rented homes was welcome for some, but that many landlords had already spent thousands on their properties making the upgrades or simply sold up.
“Michael Gove, the Housing Secretary, described the PRS as having a ‘vital’ role to play in housing the nation. This kind of policy confusion creates chaos and helps no-one.”