The CLA has responded to a Call for Evidence by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee on ‘Reforming the Private Rented Sector’. This follows the publication of the government’s White Paper on ‘A fairer private rented sector’ published in June 2022, which only applies to England. The White Paper set out the government’s ambitions to overhaul the PRS by creating a Decent Homes Standard, introducing a PRS ombudsman, and introducing a PRS Property Portal. The White Paper also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to abolishing section 21 and was published alongside the response to the 2019 consultation ‘A New Deal for Renting’. There were also proposals for Court Reform and bans on blanket bans of certain groups of tenants.
Our response to the Call for Evidence urges caution when setting policy, to think of the consequences for the private rented sector particularly those unique to rural areas. We have emphasised the vital importance of flexibility when it comes to providing homes in the PRS and argued in the strongest terms that the efficiency of the rural economy and the very sustainability of rural communities will be adversely affected by these proposals. We encourage members to lobby their MPs on this issue so that the voice of rural landlords continues to be heard.