The Committee’s questions focus on the likely impact of the proposals set out in the A Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper and other recent announcements from the UK Government.
The inquiry is seeking to find out whether the proposals strike the right balance between landlords’ and tenants’ interests, whether they will result in a ‘fairer’ private rented sector and if supply will be affected.
Impact on supply
Fewer homes may be available to renters if reform of the private rented sector does not equally consider the rights and needs of letting agents and their landlords with those of tenants.
Propertymark says its member agents are already reporting their landlords selling up or considering doing so since the proposals within the White Paper were published in June.
Removal of fixed term tenancies
Concern exists around the lack of long-term security for property owners who make them available for rent as a result of plans to move away from fixed-term tenancies.
Furthermore, the UK Government’s proposals to move to periodic tenancies will not work in the student market and will likely reduce the supply of student homes in the general PRS.
Propertymark welcomes the UK Government’s commitment not to introduce rent controls but questions the robustness of revised grounds for possession.
It says without Section 21 there needs to be an equal balance between tenant protections and the ability of the landlords its member agents represent to take possession of their properties in reasonable circumstances.
More consideration needs to be given to how workable grounds relating to anti-social behaviour will be. Landlords currently rely on serving a Section 21 in these situations as the other existing grounds require a tenant to be convicted, which is not always likely.
Propertymark also calls for changes to the court process to speed up possessions, and for a full pilot of the removal of Section 21, mediation, and the new court process to measure the impact before they are rolled out across the country.