#GE2017 - Will there be an impact on Housing Legislation?


Looking at this week’s General Election, we’re considering how the different results may impact upcoming Housing Legislation.

Firstly, it is likely that some of the pending legislation will be delayed or even lost if a new Housing Minister is appointed.

Banning Letting Agent Fees - The Government published its consultation paper on the banning of letting agent fees paid by tenants and the consultation itself continues until last Friday, 2 June 2017.

The Government is keen to ban these fees to try and improve competition in the market and give tenants greater clarity and control over their payments.  They also want the cost of a property and the associated service fees to be more transparent.  As it stands, we don’t know whether the ban will be implemented.

The Housing and Planning Act - Some of the provisions should be implemented and in force by October 2017, however with the announcement of the general election these are in danger of being delayed. The Rogue Landlord Database and Banning Orders along with the Client Protection and Electrical Safety provisions are also likely to be delayed. For landlords and agents, the Abandonment process, part of which permits private landlords of properties in England let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, to seek possession without a court order where the tenant has abandoned the premises, is also at risk of a delay.

There is also the Sale of Higher Value Housing Assets and Starter Homes element of the Housing and Planning Act which still requires secondary legislation to be implemented. The next Government will have to decide if and how to take this policy forward. 

Green Field Development - is always a key issue at local and general elections; for consideration and/or allowance of further urban development.

Green Belt Release - is an area of planning policy where there has been Government intervention in local planning.  More and more land is being identified by planners for housing development and any new national housing policy may allow more development to take place on green belts to help meet housing needs.

Planning Fees - The Government’s Housing White Paper included a commitment to allow local authorities to increase planning fees by 20 per cent from July 2017. This will also require secondary legislation to be implemented. This is another area where the next Government will have to decide whether and how to take this process forward.  Could this mean a rush or slowing down of planning applications?

The Local Development Plan - whereby a local plan sets out planning polls and identifies how land is used, what can be built and where.  Local Parish councillors and residents can have an input on their LDP and comment on the planning and development needs of the area. Could the election mean that Local Plans are overturned in order to meet housing demand and planning applications?

These are a handful of housing, development and landlord related Acts and policies that may have an impact on our industry in future.  As they say, “Time will tell”.

It will be interesting to see if after the election some of these provisions are still implemented or if they will be rethought or even scrapped all together by a new Government.

Crystal joined Pace in 2007 and was appointed to her current role of Managing Director in 2010, heading up the company founded by her father in 1994.

She is responsible for the daily operations of the business, whilst also ensuring the company is financially sound, has strategic direction and is planning for future growth.

Crystal takes a thoughtful and considered approach to all that she does, transferring her determination to deliver implicit care, attention and professionalism to every member of her team.

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