After last week’s local elections, everyone is working on the assumption that the Prime Minister Theresa May and the Conservatives are on the way to a massive win. It is not a case of if but by how many seats (a far cry from 2015).
Working on this assumption for a minute, (I am sure Oscar Wilde will forgive me this once) if traditional Labour areas were to go blue, traditional Labour Party issues could soon become Conservative issues too. Newly elected MPs will see their case-loads rise with issues that – traditionally – backbench Conservative MPs have not had to think much about.
This will mean more pressure on Government and the leadership to act on them.
How could this impact Government thinking on the Private Rented Sector (PRS)?
So far the Governments focus has been on enforcement and standards with targeted measures against rogue landlords in the recent Housing and Planning Act.
However, as the NLA has consistently pointed out, a newly emboldened Prime Minister with a large majority and a cohort of backbenchers to placate could intervene in markets ‘which are not working’.
Traditionally political pundits (read people who couldn’t for one reason or another get elected themselves) use this time to predict which seats might go which colour. So we thought we would make some (informed?) predictions of our own. We will periodically revisit this blog to see how many were right or wrong.
- The Queens Speech will include plans for a new Housing Bill
- In the Budget the Chancellor will announce a crackdown on Housing Benefit and link it to the Decent Homes Standard.
- There will be a review of the 1988 Housing Act legislation surrounding repossession
- Buy to let Landlords will be incentivised in some way to offer / consider longer term tenancies
- Later in the Parliament, Landlords will be ‘penalised’ for not offering them to tenants
- The idea of a register of landlords will be consulted on within the next Parliament
- Current Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government Sajed Javid (if re-elected) will be demoted or sacked in the post-election reshuffle.
- Current Housing Minister Gavin Barwell MP will be promoted (if re-elected)
- There will be three different Ministers for Housing before the next General Election.
When will we know more?
The Conservative Party’s Manifesto comes out in a week’s time. It promises to be an entertaining read. It has also been announced that the Queens speech will be on Monday 19 June. This very short time-frame does indicate that possibly the Government’s priorities have already been set. We will see.
The NLA is a strictly politically neutral trade association. We do not support individual parties, we just pass comment on their policies (because we couldn’t get elected either).
This doesn’t stop us from being curious about everyone else’s political inclination though – especially landlords – and as such we pose the following polling questions – just for fun: