GL#8: What the General Election means for landlords, with guest, David Smith


With the fall of the Renters Reform Bill, and the upcoming general election, Richard Jackson and Suzanne Smith pick the brain of leading solicitor David Smith from JMW to explore what the election is likely to mean for landlords in England.

In this episode we discuss what happens to the Renters Reform Bill now, and analyse what a new Labour or Conservative government might bring for landlords. We step away from the hyperbole and catastrophising, and take an objective look at what we currently know about the policies of both Labour and the Conservatives.

As always, we bring the practical perspective of landlords, and share tips on what we’re doing to filter out all the noise that an election brings.

We recorded this episode on 24 May 2024, shortly before parliament was prorogued ahead of the General Election on 4 July, before any of the parties have published their election manifesto.

With this episode, we reached a big milestone: episode number 10! We’ve released 8 regular episodes and 2 on the Renters Reform Bill since we launched Good Landlording on 10 April, less than 7 weeks ago. We’ve also had well over 10,000 downloads, before this episode goes live! That’s a fantastic achievement for a new show, run by podcast newbies.

sign with polling station on railings in front of red brick building

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What happened to the Renters Reform Bill?

The government abandoned the Renters Reform Bill in the brief wash-up period on 24 May when a few bills managed to be rushed through the House of Lords, like the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill.

As the Renters Reform Bill fell, any new government would need to draft a new bill from scratch, with a new long title, if they want to pursue rental reform after the election.

Of course, some of it would no doubt look the same, but a new Bill would have to start all over again to go through all of its stages  in the Commons and Lords, which would take several months. 

>> Blog post: The Independent Landlord – Renters Reform Bill: What happens now?

What we know about Labour’s policies for the Private Rented Sector

Labour has not yet published their manifesto. However, David Smith predicts the following might feature in Labour’s policies for landlords should they win the general election and form a government:

  • Abolition of Section 21 and fixed term tenancies, but with a few additional grounds for landlords to terminate a tenancy, for instance if they want to sell, or it’s a tenancy for agricultural workers.
  • Regulation of letting agents and other property agents.
  • Some sort of rent stabilisation measures, as opposed to rent control. He does not see this as a bad thing for landlords as they would move to yearly increases in line with inflation, instead of just increasing rents when tenants change.
  • Increased devolution of housing powers to local authorities.
  • More regulation around management standards and quality, along the lines of Rent Smart Wales, which would bring more consistency than the piecemeal the current selective licensing approach.
  • Landlord register.
  • Better enforcement by local authorities.

>> Blog post: The Independent Landlord – What are Labour’s policies for the Private Rented Sector?

What if the Conservatives win the election?

David Smith predicts that the Conservatives would not bring forward another Renters Reform Bill should they win the election. The driving force behind the Bill, Michael Gove, has stood down, along with many of the more moderate Conservative MPs.

We will need to wait for their election manifesto to be certain.

Advice for landlords in this period of uncertainty before the General Election

Landlords are entering a period of increased uncertainty with the upcoming General Election. As there isn’t enough time for landlords to sell before 4 July, landlords will need to see it out.

The advice is for landlords to focus on the day job, looking after their tenants and their properties. Rental demand is still high, and the fundamentals are good. Try not to get distracted by all the nay-sayers who predict impending doom.

In the meantime, we’ll keep bringing balanced, reliable content to landlords and the wider private rented sector.

>> Blog post: The Independent Landlord – What the General Election means for the Private Rented Sector

Credits

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

What the general election means for landlords with a photo of a polling station

3 thoughts on “GL#8: What the General Election means for landlords, with guest, David Smith”

  1. Great podcast. David has really given me back confidence in my views on the rental market. i.e Stick with it as it is a long term business. Very interesting to hear about the human rights act to support my right to sell.
    Going to be very interesting to hear all your views on the manifestos.

  2. The key take aways remain:
    1. Be incredibly picky on Tenact Select
    2. Set the rent at top end of going Market rate at the start of the TA.
    3. Increase rents every year, even if only by a small increase to “normalise” the process
    4. Do not over leverage yourself
    5. Run it as a professional Business (not a side hustle) and be air tight on compliance, legislation and administration.

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