The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has informed stakeholders that it now plans to publish the government’s White Paper on reforms to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) “in 2022”.
The department is silent on exactly when in 2022 that might happen.
The announcement of an impending White Paper came last June in a research briefing ‘Housing conditions in the private rented sector (England)’ and at that time was expected to be delivered ‘in the Autumn of 2021’. The document may be read in the House of Commons library.
The announcement of a delay will allow the department “the additional and necessary time to develop the balanced package of reforms that we promised to deliver.”
The information to the stakeholders says:
“We have been grateful for the sector’s positive engagement which has helped inform our policy development to date.
“We want to make sure we take full advantage of this knowledge and experience to produce a package of reforms that works for both tenants and landlords.
“Building more time into our policy development will not only allow us to benefit from continued work with the sector but will also allow us to carefully consider the findings of the National Audit Office’s review of regulation of the sector which is due to report in the coming months.”
“I hope you agree that it is better for us to take the time to get these reforms right working in partnership with colleagues than to rush something out that misses the mark.
“We look forward to continuing to work with you on this important policy”
Responding to the news, Isobel Thomson, safeagent Chief Executive, said:
“safeagent welcomes the clarity on when the White Paper on reforms to the Private Rented Sector will be published.
“It makes sense to wait for the findings of the National Audit Office’s review of existing regulation and exploration of key sector organisations’ aspirations for PRS reform for the benefit of tenants and landlords. safeagent took part in the NAO’s review and looks forward to the report being published.”
Tom Mundy, COO of Goodlord, commented:
“Letting agents may be frustrated by further delays to the Renters’ Reform Bill proposals. The continued uncertainty could be preventing landlords from entering the market or expanding their portfolios, at a time when rental stock is very low, leaving the industry in limbo. Letting agents will be very keen to know what the new legislative landscape will look like, so they can advise their landlords accordingly.
“The market is split when it comes to key proposed changes, such as the Abolition of Section 21. 54% of tenants think it will have a positive impact compared to only 22% of agents, according to our latest market survey. So whenever the Bill does come into force, there’s no doubt it will trigger significant shifts across the industry. ”