Industry News Sally Walmsley 14/07/2022

Campaigns update: What we are doing for you

This week NRLA CEO Ben Beadle attended a Ministerial roundtable on rental reform with housing minister Eddie Hughes.

The event was the first roundtable held since the publication of the Government’s white paper on rental reform A Fairer Private Rented Sector last month.

Ben was joined by representatives of other stakeholder groups including the British Property Federation (BPF) and the Nationwide Foundation at the event.

All were invited to respond to the white paper, based on feedback from members and user groups.

Ben used the meeting to outline the association’s five key asks ahead of the publication of the Renters’ Reform Bill – changes without which the association believes legislation will be unworkable.

These include the need for court reform before Section 21 powers are lost and adjustments to the planned introduction of indefinite tenancies to allow for exceptions within the student market.

Other asks include a change in attitude towards landlords from Government, the need for detailed proposals on how to tackle anti-social tenants and the abolition of local licensing once the Government’s new property portal is introduced.

Later in the week NRLA policy and campaigns director Chris Norris attended a meeting at Number 10 where he too outlined the association’s key asks in a meeting with a special advisor to the Prime Minister. He also talked to counterparts at the British Property Federation to co-ordinate work on addressing student and anti-social behaviour issues in the white paper.

NRLA Chief Executive Ben Beadle said: “Despite the change in leadership it is clear that the minister and his team remain committed to bringing forward the rental reform plans and working closely with stakeholders to refine proposals ahead of the bill.

“We welcomed the opportunity to talk directly with decisionmakers on behalf of members, to highlight areas where change is needed. We are now providing more detailed briefings on each of the areas in question, and will be supplementing this with the results of a wider landlord survey that will be issued in the next week. It is so important to ensure the voices of landlords are heard loud and clear – please fill out the survey and have your say.”

Other high level meetings this week

Elsewhere, Chris and policy and campaigns manager Malin Joneleit met with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to discuss development of the property portal.

The department has not developed this to any degree, but is keen to work with the NRLA and consult with members to help with design in the coming months.

Chris also met with another team within DLUHC to discuss refugee resettlement. Ministers are keen to provide more guidance and support to help mitigate the perceived risks of letting to Ukrainian and other refugee groups.

He was joined by Ben for a meeting with the Welsh Housing Minister Julie James MS, to discuss future renting policy, efforts to make residential letting more attractive to investors, and a forthcoming audit/review of Rent Smart Wales.

Discussions continued with HMRC about getting Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA), particularly those with joint property income.

Malin took part in her first consumer forum, with the Property Ombudsman where she got to quiz DLUHC again and policy manager James Wood represented landlords at the Treasury’s working group on Statutory Repayment Plans.

Policy officer Tim Thomas attended a cost-of-living summit organised by the Welsh Gpvernment and met LandAid, continuing work to support landlords providing homes for Ukrainian refugees.

Ben has also attended the Lloyds Banking Group Housing Senate, to discuss, sustainability, supply, and access to finance with the great and the good of the housing and finance world.

Get involved

The NRLA is asking members to get involved in its rental reform campaign by writing to their MPs outlining ways in which the Government's proposed changes will affect them and their businesses. There are a number of ways to do this, by writing a letter, sending an email or contacting them via social media. The NRLA has a handy tool allowing you to identify and contact your MP, which can be accessed here.

More information

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley Magazine and Digital Editor

Sally is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

See all articles by Sally Walmsley