There’s been a call for government to do more to support letting agents as an autumn of rental reform begins.
Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor at Propertymark, made the call as he responded to news that the pre-Covid eviction process for England would return from October 1.
That means agents and landlords giving notice to evict via either a Section 21 or Section 8 notice will need to give two months’ notice - it will no longer be the six months period required under Coronavirus legislation, which will remain in force until October 1.
Hayward says: “Letting agents and landlords have worked hard to maintain tenancies throughout the pandemic, so it is pleasing that the UK government has kept to its word and given the sector ample notice prior to notice periods returning to pre-Covid lengths in England.
“Looking ahead there is still a hangover from the court suspension which means that some tenants have been able to rack up months of arrears with no action and some landlords have sold properties due to a busy sales market because of the stamp duty holiday.”
Then he says: “As future reforms are considered for the private rented sector, the UK government must now reflect on the last 18 months and implement policies that support letting agents and landlords to continue to house the nation.”
A White paper on reform of the rental sector is expected to be released this autumn, and is anticipated to make recommendations honouring commitments to scrap Section 21 powers for landlords and agents, and to introduce so-called ‘lifetime deposits’ making it easier and cheaper for tenants to move between properties.
In Scotland, the new SNP/Green Party alliance with a majority in that parliament is this autumn expected to make its first announcements about consultations for the introduction of rent controls in coming years.