What can private landlords expect from new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak?
With the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minster on 25 October 2022, the Private Rental Sector (PSR) is keenly waiting for confirmation of the new Government’s policies regarding housing.
Between 2019 to mid-2022 Mr Sunak made very few comments about the rental sector, but was seen to support the reforms proposed in the Renters’ Reform Bill and the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper (a summary of which is covered in our previous post). During his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer from February 2020 to July 2022 which covered the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Sunak backed the temporary ban on evictions, introduced the furlough scheme and implemented a number of changes to the welfare system, including an increase to Universal Credit and realignment of the Local Housing Allowance rates.
During the leadership contest, Mr Sunak broadly outlined his position on housing, but it did not form the central part of his campaign. Mr Sunak has commented that he did not agree with the previous Conservative manifesto to build 300,000 homes a year in England, focusing instead on helping councils to deliver plans at a quicker rate and ensuring that new homes are supported by sufficient infrastructure.
Mr Sunak has appointed Michael Grove as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, a role he held before under former prime minister Boris Johnson. During his previous time in the role, Mr Gove published two consultation papers including the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper. This may indicate that the Government is committed to progressing the previously stated Conservative Party commitment to rental reform.
On balance it seems likely that Mr Sunak will progress the Government’s commitment to ban no-fault Section 21 evictions in addition to the rental reforms proposed in the Queens Speech, however, given the current issues facing the Government including the cost-of-living crisis and looming recession, it is unclear whether this commitment will be made a priority.
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