The government's Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has said that its white paper on rental reform, which was part of a 2019 manifesto promise, has been delayed yet again. The further delay of publication from this autumn until 2022, comes as the creators of the report are given extra time to develop a balanced set of reform proposals.
On Wednesday 27 October, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, delivered his Autumn Budget for 2021. It’s been marketed as a generous package of increased spending to boost the nation’s post-Covid recovery, but as always there are winners and losers – and not everything in it is quite as straightforward as it seems.
Following months of pressure from various bodies representing landlords and tenants, the UK government has provided new funding for local authorities across England to support tenants who have fallen into arrears due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The £65 million fund will be allocated via local councils to ensure vulnerable people living in rental accommodation will not end up homeless this winter due to financial problems related to the pandemic.
Published on 13 October, the third and final part of the government’s Household Resilience Study explores how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected people’s housing circumstances in England. While there are no shock revelations, the research does shed further light on ‘hidden’ issues like the ongoing arrears problem in the private rented sector.
Two separate reports show that rents have risen in recent months as demand for property in the lettings market remains high. The data suggests the recovery in demand for rental homes has continued over the third quarter of the year with one stating it expects demand to remain strong and push rents higher.
As the business of being a landlord becomes increasingly regulated and professionalised, letting agents too have upped their game. These days most of them are highly professional companies with experienced staff, codes of conduct and membership of industry bodies.