29 Oct 2021

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities says the long-awaited Rental Reform White Paper will now not be published until next year.

It had long been stated by the Ministry that the White Paper would come out “this autumn” but now contributors to the preparation of the document have been told that the extra time will give the government an opportunity to produce a “balanced package of reforms”.

Housing minister Eddie Hughes, speaking at the Conservative party conference, had already suggested that his teams were still in discussions to avoid what he called “unintentional consequences.”

The government has already been criticised by pressure groups such as Shelter and Generation Rent for what they claim to be slow work on scrapping Section 21 evictions – a manifesto pledge from the Conservatives in 2019.

The delay has been welcomed by Isobel Thomson, chief executive of the accreditation service safeagent. 

She says: “safeagent welcomes the clarity on when the White Paper on reforms to the Private Rented Sector will be published. 

“It makes sense to wait for the findings of the National Audit Office’s review of existing regulation and exploration of key sector organisations’ aspirations for private rental sector reform for the benefit of tenants and landlords. safeagent took part in the NAO’s review and looks forward to the report being published.”

The department’s letter to participants admitting the delay says: “Building more time into our policy development will not only allow us to benefit from continued work with the sector but will also allow us to carefully consider the findings of the National Audit Office’s review of regulation of the sector which is due to report in the coming months.

“I hope you agree that it is better for us to take the time to get these reforms right working in partnership with colleagues than to rush something out that misses the mark.”

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