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Another week and another Newsround, let’s see what’s been trending this week in the housing news.

Five demands from the NRLA

The National Residential Landlords Association has identified five key areas for its campaigning in the short term, as the Conservatives elect a new leader of their party.

  • To stop knocking landlords! NRLA state that the majority of landlords provide good quality homes to rent. Many former ministers have been outspoken and critical of landlords and have failed to stand up for the majority of good landlords who are up against groups such as Generation Rent.
  • The issue over indefinite tenancies. This will mean that tenants can leave poor-quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change. With students operating on a cyclical academic year, the proposals have raised alarm bells in the student accommodation sector
  • To have firm principles to support landlords to tackle anti-social tenants quickly and effectively, and
  • To reform the courts BEFORE Section 21 powers are removed to tackle lengthy waits for possession, and finally
  • That the creation of a new property portal for landlords – widely considered to effectively be a landlord register – will mean that local licensing is abolished.

Read what Chris Norris of NRLA says.

The government have actually promised to speed up the court process (as you can read here) but whether this will actually happen is another matter.

The new PM needs to address the supply issue

The NLRA are also warning that a new survey data shows that the supply of homes to rent is likely to keep falling over the next year.

According to this research, by BVA-BDRC, 23 per cent of landlords said they plan to cut the number of properties they let in the next 12 months. This is up from 20 per cent a year ago.

In contrast, just 14 per cent say they plan to increase the number of properties they let, unchanged since the same point last year and down four points since Q1 2022.

The NRLA is warning that the trend is a direct result of government policy and punitive tax increases since 2015, which have shrunk the private rented sector and are calling on the next Prime Minister to hostility to landlords and take steps to encourage investment to meet the rising demand.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

The last six years prove that it was a nonsense to think that cutting the supply of rental housing when demand is so strong would make it easier for those saving for a home of their own.

Driving rents up just leaves tenants with less cash to save for a deposit.

We need a strong and vibrant private rental market that meets the needs of those who rely on the flexibility it provides, those who need somewhere to live before becoming homeowners and those for whom the promise of social housing tomorrow provides cold comfort today.

The next administration needs to reset its plans for the sector.

Similar comments are being made by agents which you can read here.

Section 21 ban likely to be delayed

Following the upheaval that hit the government last week the rental reforms are likely to be delayed, which could be good news for landlords frustrated by the Section 21 ban announced in the White Paper.  

Adam Male, chief revenue officer at online lettings agent Mashroom says

We’re likely to see a delay to any rental reforms or laws being put in place, which is bad news for the tenants who have campaigned for change in policies and legislation in the rental market. The newly instated housing secretary Greg Clark may also have different views on rental reforms, which could halt the progress made by Gove and his team even further, which will naturally cause a lot of uncertainty for both landlords and tenants.

We need to see the Conservatives acting as quickly as possible to instate a permanent leader and leadership team in order for these delays in the rental reforms to be kept to a minimum. The next leader should also look to install confidence in the property and housing industry, by making sure that the new housing minister is kept in the job long term, after seeing 11 housing ministers since the conservatives came to power in 2010.

We’re experiencing an ongoing cost of living crisis and with October’s increase in energy bills looming, the government needs to act fast in order to protect households and tenants.

Read more about this here.

Can heat pumps help your property?

Heat pumps – central to a government energy efficiency drive started under Boris Johnson – could save 20 per cent higher n household energy bills, it is claimed. To encourage more people to install heat pumps, the government is offering landlords and owner occupiers grants of up to £6,000 on heat pump installations as part of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

However it’s now claimed that only around 4.8m of the UK’s 27.8m homes are eligible for heat pumps to be installed.

Renewables firm Nu-Heat says it’s developed a tool to help landlords and owner occupiers calculate if they’re able to have a heat pump installed in their homes. Jo Snell a spokesperson for Nu-Heat says it is important to be realistic over what is achievable.

You will find the calculator here.

Snippets

Newsround will be back next week.

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