#16: What the Labour government has in store for landlords

Now that the new Prime Minister has appointed his front bench team and made clear his priorities, Richard Jackson and Suzanne Smith discuss what the Labour government has in store for landlords in England in the 16th episode of Good Landlording.

They include answers to lots of questions from listeners, and go through what we know about leasehold reform, energy efficiency and leasehold reform. They also discuss Labour’s plans to build 1.5 million homes in the next five years.

Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer on 6 July 2024

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Where are we now?

The Labour government won the general election on 4 July, and the new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, said in his speech in front of Number 10 on Friday that “change will start now”. 

Angela Rayner has been confirmed as the Secretary of State of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with Matthew Pennycook as Minister of State for Levelling Up. Matthew Pennycook was Shadow Housing Minister from December 2020 to until the General Election. He knows the brief really well and shepherded  the Renters Reform Bill and the Leasehold and Freehold Reform act as it now is through the House Commons.

The Guardian quotes a government source saying that the “Levelling Up” bit will be dropped from the of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The source is quoted as saying: “We agree with the principle of levelling up, but it was a gimmicky branding exercise […] We’ll be taking the Ronseal approach. It will do what it says on the tin.”

The has been confirmed by Angela Rayner since the podcast was recorded. The name of the department will be the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

What happens next?

The King’s Speech has been confirmed for Wednesday 17 July. The speech sets out which Bills will be in the next session of parliament, and we expect Bills on rental and leasehold reform to be included.

We’ll do an episode shortly after it is published to go through what legislation Labour intends to introduce for landlords.

Lobbying for the Renters Reform Bill (or whatever it ends up being called) has started already with the NRLA, Propertymark, Generation Rent, and Shelter already issuing press releases about rental reform.

What is likely to be included in a new Renters Reform Bill?

The following are likely to be in a new Renters Reform Bill:

See Election special: Manifesto pledges on rental reform for more detail.

>> Blog post: What landlords can expect from the new Labour government

What’s likely to be included in a Leasehold Reform Bill?

Based on Labour’s manifesto commitments, the Labour government will make the following leasehold reforms, which affect those landlords whose rental properties are leasehold:

  • bring the “feudal leasehold system to an end”
  • make commonhold the “default tenure”
  • tackle “unregulated and unaffordable ground rent charges”

For more detail, see Election special: Manifesto pledges on leasehold reform for more detail.

Rachel Reeves’ speech on 8 July 2024 about housebuilding

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves, gave a speech on 8 July in which she stressed the importance of housebuilding to the future growth of the economy.

She promised to promised to build 1.5 million homes in the next 5 years, get Britain moving again, “unblock the planning system”, hire more planning officers, and restore mandatory building targets.

Practical tips to help landlords to navigate the coming change

Here are some tips to help landlords navigate the change ahead:

  • Filter out the noise in the media about rental reform, and focus on what you can control.
  • Particular areas include being a good landlord, looking after your tenants, selecting  good tenants, keeping your properties in good repair, keeping comprehensive notes on conversations and actions, carrying out regular inspections and managing any rent arrears effectively. (See #2: How to select good tenants and #7 How to manage rent arrears)
  • If you use letting agents, supervise them well to make sure that they’re doing the right thing.
  • Keep listening to Good Landlording for practical tips 😊


Music: “Paradise Found” by Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech. Licensed under Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 License.

What the Labour government has in store for landlords

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