Summer looks like it’s going to be a hectic period for lettings agents and the private rental sector according to TV property expert Phil Spencer.
In a preview of regulation and legislation changes likely in 2024, Spencer says the busy summer will begin around June when so-far unspecific changes to lettings regulations will be announced as a result of a probe by the Competitions and Markets Authority.
Since last August the CMA has been investigating the private rental sector to “understand better the consumer protection issues that may be facing people when they rent.” Just before Christmas it promised it would produce its results, and changes to how agents and landlords operate, by mid-2024.
Spencer says: “No one knows how significant the change will be, so watch this space.”
On top of that, the Renters Reform Bill is likely to become law sometime over the summer, assuming a General Election does not come first.
As has been widely previews, the Bill’s provisions include the scrapping of Section 21 eviction powers, strengthening of alternative Section 9 eviction powers, the introduction of a Decent Homes Standard for private rental property, a compulsory redress scheme membership for landlords, plus more rights for tenants to keep pets.
On top of that, the summer is also expected to see announcements by the government about new controls for the short lets sector. Two government departments have been consulting on changes for England which might see a scheme along the lines of that being suggested already in Scotland, which would include a compulsory register of people who let homes via Airbnb and other platforms, plus greater powers for local councils to limit the number of short lets if they are deemed to be reducing the supply of long-term rental homes.
Spencer also cautions that economic issues will effect lettings and sales agents in 2024.
The first likely economic news will come with the spring Budget in early March, followed by the long-expected reduction in the Capital Gains Tax personal allowance in April, and then - depending on wider economic performance - possible Bank of England base rate falls in the second half of the year.