The Queen’s speech announced the legislation that the Government intends to implement in the coming year. Many of the proposals related to Brexit, but others focused on matters such as the economy, law reform (including the way whiplash claims are dealt with) and defence. This article looks at the property-related proposals. What do the announcements mean for landlords, tenants and the general property market in the UK?
We are all familiar with reports of a ‘housing crisis’ and new homes are notably being built around the country. The new build housing market has increased rapidly over the past decade and government assistance schemes has given first time buyers more opportunity to get onto the property ladder. In May 2017 alone, the Land Registry registered almost 10,000 new build purchases.
The Government published a Housing White Paper in February 2017 containing housing proposals. The focus is to continue with the commitment to build more homes to tackle the crisis. It seems that the Government intends to press on with the proposals in the White Paper. There are also plans to discuss reforms to leasehold properties which will hopefully unfold later this year.
Rental properties are also a large part of UK housing and the Government previously pledged in the autumn statement to ban letting fees being charged to tenants. The money for a deposit on a rental property can be difficult enough for tenants to get together, however many letting agents employed by landlords charge further administration fees, ID and credit check fees as well as referencing fees to the tenant. The average fees are £223, but some tenants in London may face fees upwards of £2,000. The Queen’s speech has indicated this ban will be implemented by law later this year.
This will come as welcome relief to tenants. However, some people argue that this will actually drive up the rent prices; with landlords looking to recover their agents’ fees by increasing rent. Along with the other changes to the buy to let market over the last 18 months such as stamp duty increases and income tax changes, this may prove unfavourable with landlords.
Other property-related proposals
The Queen’s speech also mentioned a proposed Bill to allow for the building of the second phase of the HS2 line from the West Midlands to Crewe. This Bill will include details on compulsory purchase of land and properties, and planning permission.