How will Ministerial changes affect upcoming rental reforms?

By Adam Male, chief revenue officer at online lettings agent Mashroom  

In the last week, we’ve seen a record number of ministers resigning from Boris Johnson’s government, including Housing Minister Stuart Andrew, as well as the shock announcement of the sacking of Housing Secretary Michael Gove.

Michael Gove led the recent Rental Reform White Paper that outlined a raft of new plans to give tenants more security, protection and power when renting a property, in a bid to crack down on unscrupulous landlords who break the rules and have tarnished the reputation of the rental market. Whilst this has been something of a controversial move that has angered many landlords and has led to warnings of a mass exodus in the private rental market, Gove listened to the issues that tenants have experienced, particularly with rogue landlords, and made promises to tackle them which were outlined in the white paper reforms.

With Boris Johnson resigning himself, priority will shift towards finding a new leader before the October Tory Party Conference, as well as building an effective leadership team to fill all the recent resignations. We’re likely to see a delay to any rental reforms or laws being put in place, which is bad news for the tenants who have campaigned for change in policies and legislation in the rental market. The newly instated housing secretary Greg Clark may also have different views on rental reforms, which could halt the progress made by Gove and his team even further, which will naturally cause a lot of uncertainty for both landlords and tenants.

We need to see the Conservatives acting as quickly as possible to instate a permanent leader and leadership team in order for these delays in the rental reforms to be kept to a minimum. The next leader should also look to install confidence in the property and housing industry, by making sure that the new housing minister is kept in the job long term, after seeing 11 housing ministers since the conservatives came to power in 2010. We’re experiencing an ongoing cost of living crisis and with October’s increase in energy bills looming, the government needs to act fast in order to protect households and tenants.