Housing is such a massive issue, so how can you expect someone to make a dent in these matters if they housing minister churns every few months? This is according to Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), speaking to CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, Iain McKenzie about the housing sector on the latest episode of The Home Stretch podcast.
In his opening remarks McKenzie asks Beadle when he thinks the housing market will be given the legitimate leadership it deserves from government, rather than simply being used as a pawn to advance a political agenda.
“I don’t think anytime soon,” Beadle responds. “I attended both party conferences and there is no question in my mind that housing is going to be one of the key battle grounds for the election. The Conservatives said very little about housing at their conference, other than planning references. We had a fringe event that Rachel Maclean attended, and it was the only fringe event that was focused on the private rental sector. With Labour there was far more discussion around rented housing, which they see as a vote winner. However, if Labour come to power, Section 21 is likely to be one of the first things they would abolish, whereas the Conservatives acknowledge that there is a balance to be struck with court reform and enhanced possession grounds for landlords before this can happen. There seems to be an interesting power play happening in front of us with who can do the most draconian things.”
Referring back to the Labour conference in Liverpool, Beadle notes that the party have been very clear about what they would do within the first 100 days, such as growing the social housing sector. “They would also want significant more investment in new homes, with a figure of around 1.5 million homes quoted. Of course, this comes with a lead time but in the meantime with the lack of housing supply, Rome is burning. These same challenges await Labour should they come to power, and what isn’t clear is precisely how they would address them. In fact, it is possible that there could be even more challenges ahead if Mr Gove does not deliver on his Renters’ Reform Bill,” says Beadle.
McKenzie responds by saying that there are over 4.5 million renters in the UK, as well as the same number of lettings transactions as there are transactions in the residential sales sector. Given the size of the property sector, the government really needs to start to get this right.
The two leading CEOs went on to discuss other aspects impacting the private rental sector and what they would like to see in the Autumn Statement and how these changes could impact the market moving forward.
Commenting on the latest edition of the podcast, McKenzie, said: “With the recent reshuffle and upcoming elections next year there is an enormous amount of change on the horizon for this sector. Ben’s insight into the challenges facing the sector, and on policies that will have an impact on the private rental market in 2024, should be essential listening for property professionals within the lettings segment of the market.”
To hear this conversation in full, visit The Home Stretch podcast.