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Government needs to rethink “confused” private rental sector reforms

15th Feb 2017

The Conveyancing Association has stated that the government needs to rethink its “confused” and “self-defeating” approach to reforming the private rental sector.

A 104-page report pledging to fix England’s “broken” housing market by building more affordable home was published by The Department for Communities and Local Government, which has been largely supported by the Conveyancing Association.

Although the Conveyancing Association was supportive of the plans, it has expressed some concerns over the approach to the private rental sector as support for new-builds for rental purposes has been countered by increased stamp duty for private landlords, banning letting agent fees, and the possibility of extending licensing requirements for houses in multiple occupation.

The Conveyancing Association’s operations director, Lloyd Davies, welcomed the focus on “tenure neutrality”, but noted that the state’s approach to increasing rental property supply was potentially “self-defeating”. However, the association supported many of the measures within the government’s report, particularly those to improve land registration and leasehold processes.

The government also pledged to develop greater fairness and transparency in leasehold with the aim of eradicating all unfair and unreasonable abuses.

The Conveyancing Association, which has campaigned on the issue of leasehold reform for many years, said it was encouraged by the focus on leasehold and welcomed the prospect of leasehold reforms forming part of the Law Commission’s 13th programme of law reform.

To improve leasehold education, the association said it will publish a consumer guide on leasehold costs covering many of the questions raised about purchasing a leasehold property and the charges that come with it.