Jeni Browne examines the Conservative Party’s plans for buy to let landlords, including the imminent Renters’ Reform Bill.
This year’s Conservative Party Conference in Manchester has primarily focussed on rebuilding the economy, wages and supply chains. While housing remains a pressing issue, it hasn’t taken centre stage in this year’s discussions.
In fact, the private rental sector (PRS) and housing issues have gone somewhat under the radar Conservative conference, especially compared to the Labour Conference last week. While there were fringe debates about the Renters’ Reform Bill and ‘green’ incentives for property owners, there have not been any significant changes or policies announced as yet. It’s fair to say that last week’s Labour Conference, although vague, had more to say about the PRS and housing. Read our coverage of the Labour Conference here.
The Renters’ Reform Bill, a white paper detailing proposed legislation changes, is due this Autumn, having been delayed by the pandemic. The National Residential Landlord Association (NRLA) are one of the organisations involved in the roundtable discussions for the paper, campaigning for policies surrounding property repossession, landlord/tenant conciliation services, funding for councils to tackle criminal landlords and lifetime deposits. You can read more about their campaign here. The Bill is likely to include significant changes to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, which could also mean important changes for many landlords. We will continue to monitor developments on this critical industry bill and update you as soon as we have more concrete announcements.
Despite another debate surrounding the UK’s need to decarbonise housing, there seems to be no hint of a replacement for the Green Homes Grant launched in 2020 and axed just six months later. Homeowners and investors desperately need financial support or incentives to assist with expensive energy-efficient improvements to property if we want to do our bit to clean up the housing industry. Currently, landlords have a selection of green buy to let mortgages to choose from, but if we really want to tackle this issue, there needs to be more.
While the conference has given us little to report, it does suggest that no major changes are coming for landlords and property investors in the coming year, which is no bad thing. Until the Autumn Budget announcement on 27th October, we can only assume that the upcoming Corporation Tax and National Insurance changes are the only significant financial considerations, which is a massive relief for many in the sector.
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6th October 2021