At PayProp, we continued with a jam-packed public affairs programme in 2023, engaging with politicians and officials across the UK to put forward a vision for a fairer and more transparent private rented sector.
Our main focus for political engagement in 2023 was around the Renters (Reform) Bill. After the Bill was published, we surveyed the industry to produce formal briefings to numerous MPs, highlighting various concerns and citing data to demonstrate the impact on the private rented sector, especially letting agencies.
In other activities aimed at furthering the interests of the industry, we spoke extensively to HMRC about current anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and how to make them easier for agents to follow.
In 2024, we plan to continue our focus on the Renters (Reform) Bill as it moves from the report stage into the House of Lords, where the Bill is expected to be heavily examined. With a general election slated for May or the Autumn, there will be a tight timeline for the bill to be completed.
Our key focus areas for improving the Bill include specifics around how the property portal will work; ensuring successful redress for the sector; and establishing an effective eviction process through the courts, following the removal of Section 21.
Alongside this, we are continuing our work on AML regulation nationwide and devolved housing policy issues in Scotland. This includes working with Scottish political stakeholders to highlight concerns around the enforcement of current legislation. Issues under consideration include energy performance certificates (EPCs) and providing evidence to counter continued demand for rent controls.
We will keep you involved via surveys, including our Rental Confidence Index, and updates on our political engagement throughout the year.