#ExpertView: Reflecting on the past as we prepare for the future

NRLA #ExpertView

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle on the changes ahead as we enter 2022

The last 12 months have seen Covid restrictions come and go, and with numbers rising once again, the months ahead could be another testing time.

Landlords have proved their value throughout the pandemic, supporting tenants with payment plans and practical help and support, and I know we will pull together again should the situation worsen over winter.

We are now experiencing a period of relative calm. Fears of changes to Capital Gains Tax would be included in the autumn budget proved unfounded, and we welcomed news that the chancellor has earmarked £65m to pay off Covid related arrears owed to landlords in England.

Pre-pandemic widespread changes to the way the sector operates were on the horizon, and as we move into 2022 plans stalled by Covid-19 will begin to progress once again.

Rental reform

We are pleased the Government has made the sensible decision to postpone the publication of its white paper on rental reform until 2022, to allow for further consultation with stakeholders including ourselves.

Such a move suggests ministers have developed an understanding of the complexity of the situation and the need to ‘get it right first time’, if the new system is to work for both landlords and tenants.

Ahead of publication, the NRLA has produced its own shadow white paper outlining our proposals for positive change. Aswe move into the new year will be continuing to lobby for changes to legislation that will protect landlords’ right to repossess in legitimate circumstances while offing a fair deal to renters.

Energy efficiency

As 2022 gets underway we  expect to see some movement on energy efficiency. The Government’s consultation on plans to move from a minimum E to C EPC rating closed in the summer, with the results yet to be made public.

From speaking directly with members, I know the immediate focus is getting clarity on what the new rules are going to be and a timeframe for implementation.

The financial impact on many landlords will be significant, with our own research showing that those in areas where property values are lowest are expected to be hit hardest by bills of up to £10,000 per rental – a figure which could represent a significant proportion of a property’s value.

We are already campaigning on the issue and once we know what the final Government proposals are, we will be able to hone this work to ensure funding and other support is made available to landlords to help them comply with new rules.

Court reform is also on our agenda for 2022; with an increased reliance on technology one of the key pillars of our campaign to save time and money when tackling significant backlogs in the system, as well as developing a centrally funded conciliation service to tackle issues before they get to court.

Additionally, we are working to establish an industry working group to develop innovative solutions to the issues we see in the housing sector, and to boost the supply of privately rented homes.

The last two years have been challenging for us all, and as we move forward into 2022 we will continue to work on behalf of our members and campaign for a fair deal for the private sector landlords providing the vital homes to let the country so desperately needs.

To find out more about the NRLA and how to join visit www.nrla.org.uk/join


About the Author

Ben Beadle - NRLA Chief Executive

Ben Beadle is chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), the UK’s largest trade body for landlords.

A landlord himself since the age of 20, Ben started out as property manager before working his way up through the ranks at Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).

He was then Operations Director at property management business Touchstone before overseeing the merger of the National Residential Landlords Association (NLA) and Residential Landlords Association (RLA) to create the new trade body earlier this year.

His key aims as head of the organisation are to strengthen the voice of landlords in Westminster and Cardiff, to improve the reputation of landlords in the media and to support members through information, training and accreditation.

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