The latest unveiling of the government’s levelling up plan reveals that:
All homes in the Private Rented Sector will have to meet a minimum standard – the Decent Homes Standard.
Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will further be abolished
Consultation on introducing a landlords register
£1.5 billion Levelling Up Home Building Fund being launched, which will provide loans to SMEs
Regen areas – the government will support 20 of our towns and city centres, starting off with Wolverhampton and Sheffield, undertaking ambitious, King’s Cross-style regeneration projects
CEO of Octane Capital, Jonathan Samuels, commented: “It goes without saying that anyone tackling the high cost of renting in the modern age should be provided with a home that is fit for purpose and so the introduction of the ‘Decent Home Standard’ is a positive step in this respect.
The abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions’ is also another step forward where tenant protection is concerned. However, many landlords will be understandably concerned that this could be utilised by professional nightmare tenants as a loophole to avoid eviction, which often comes at a considerable cost to the landlord themselves.
With this in mind, perhaps a tenant register should also be considered along with the proposed landlord register, so both tenant and landlord have peace of mind that their best interests are being looked after.”
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “While they’ve certainly been framed with the best intentions, the latest government announcement on levelling up the rental market will hardly help endear them to the nation’s landlords, who have already been subject to numerous financial penalties via legislative changes in recent years.
Any landlord worth their salt will already be delivering a suitable property to market and the additional hoop of a ‘Decent Homes Standard’ will add further time and cost constraints that simply aren’t needed.
We also saw how rogue tenants utilised government changes to tenant evictions during the pandemic and so we can expect more of the same now but on a permanent basis.”
Managing Director of Sirius Property Finance, Nicholas Christofi, commented: “It’s great to see the government’s intent to support SMEs by making them the focus of their levelling up plans and the agile and adaptable nature of these smaller housebuilders should pay dividends when it comes to improving the prosperity of our nation.
That said, there’s no ‘new money’ in today’s loan announcement of £1.5bn and so let’s hope that the government continues to provide support to SME housebuilders on an ongoing basis, not just via a few initial, headline grabbing gestures.”
Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented: “We’ve enjoyed a house price boom of late but for those with an eye on a longer-term return, the likes of Wolverhampton and Sheffield are a safe bet.
Any significant level of regeneration is only going to help boost the local economy, which in turn will rejuvenate the local housing market. So we can expect to see upward growth both where house prices and rental market values are concerned across the areas to have been earmarked for ‘levelling up’.”