Propertymark has submitted written evidence to the Public Bill Committee on the Renters (Reform) Bill, citing data demonstrating the level of concern amongst our members about measures likely to make the PRS increasingly hostile to property owners and the unintended consequences for people in need of homes.
Propertymark continues to assert there is no advantage to introducing rent controls and urges Scottish Ministers to properly evaluate the evidence both from UK and across the world. Whilst formulating our response to the most recent engagement questionnaire we hosted a roundtable with members and Scottish Government officials where the strength of feeling from agents was clearly communicated.
Propertymark has responded supportively to the Scottish Government’s consultation on changes to Energy Performance Certificates whilst adding recommendations on assistance for the property sector to move towards net zero and a call for adequate time to implement any changes.
Mandatory requirements for fire, smoke and CO2 alarms in private rented properties are intended to come into effect in Northern Ireland in January 2024. However, the requirement for inspection and testing of the property’s electrical hard-wired installation every five years does not yet have a confirmed implementation date.
With a General Election on the horizon, the UK Government has an opportunity to support landlords, tenants, and property agents with the impact of the cost of living through welfare reform, bring down energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of homes and reducing the tax burden on landlords and investors to tackle the demand the crisis in the private rented sector.
Without introducing measures that tackle tenant demand and landlord costs, property standards will reduce, landlords will leave the sector and rents will rise. This has been evidenced when rent controls have been implemented across Europe and the United States and is currently the case in Scotland.
A Welsh Government White Paper has set out plans to consolidate nine devolved tribunals into a single coherent system which includes both First-Tier and Appeal tribunals. The reforms are intended to create a structure that is easier for users to navigate, allows better management of cases, and more effective use of resources.
The Department of Finance is seeking views on amendments to the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, including new requirements for fire suppression systems and the duty to share fire safety information for buildings over 11 meters.
Propertymark strongly supports the proposed Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) model in response to the HM Treasury’s consultation after significant weaknesses and inconsistencies have been identified that have left the UK vulnerable to counter-terrorism.
In less than 20 years, one in four people will be over 65, and with no joined-up strategy in England to ensure there will be enough accessible housing, the UK Government has set up an Older People’s Housing Taskforce to examine the issues faced – particularly for lower and middle incomes, as well as the need for older people to move into more appropriate or specialist homes.
Ensuring access to appropriate homes is a key part of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee (LUHCC) inquiry that is open until 21 September 2023, which is also seeking evidence on the progress following a consultation on raising accessibility standards for new homes was published in 2022.
Despite push back from the industry in Wales and Scotland, the UK Government continues to progress their proposals to introduce and increase council tax premiums on second and empty homes in England. In our response to the consultation, Propertymark presented a range of exemptions that we urge decision-makers to consider.
Propertymark members have backed proposals to ensure tenants in Northern Ireland are given a range of ways to make rent and other related payments. The Department for Communities has been consulting on provisions in Section 12 of the Private Tenancies Act (Northern Ireland) 2022, which would allow them to enforce regulation on the methods of payment that should be offered.
Propertymark has supported the Welsh Government’s proposals to exempt hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation used for local authority homelessness purposes from occupational contracts as part of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the increasing council tax premiums for second and empty homes, Propertymark’s members are strongly against this approach, especially for second homes, and it is recommended homeowners should be incentivised to bring empty homes back into use.
Responding to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consultation on the registration options for a short-term lets (STLs) licensing scheme in England, Propertymark stated that any scheme should not be compulsory for local authorities if they can prove they are having no impact on private rented sector supply in their area.