February 28, 2024 11:56 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

Gina Peters, Head of Landlord & Tenant at Dutton Gregory Solicitors, has escalated her criticism of Housing Secretary Michael Gove, particularly focusing on his approach towards buy-to-let and private landlords. In the face of governmental actions, she remains outspoken, emphasizing the inadequate support extended to landlords. Peters is particularly concerned about the heightened risk of triggering a mass sell-off of rental properties, an outcome that could have far-reaching implications for the housing market.

Having consistently voiced her apprehensions, Peters highlights the pressing need for a more balanced and supportive approach from the government to safeguard the interests of landlords. The ongoing lack of substantial assistance raises concerns about the sustainability of the rental sector and the potential repercussions for property owners.

In her latest remarks, she asserts, “The government’s actions and lack of solutions in the past year have left the rental industry in a state of uncertainty, prompting landlords to exit. There are essential announcements that could benefit buy-to-let landlords and provide reassurance, but Michael Gove has yet to offer any resolutions.

Recent market stability, possibly influenced by delays in Gove’s implementation of Section 21 and its parliamentary processes, or more likely due to interest rate adjustments, has been observed. However, Gove’s recent announcement aiming to prevent landlords from exploiting the notice period is expected to trigger more exits from the lettings market.”

The government appears to overlook the significance of a landlord’s ability to reclaim their property, possibly influenced by persistent lobbying from tenant-supporting entities. The majority of landlords employ Section 21 judiciously, using it when necessary, as the essence of buy-to-let is to secure a return on investment with a tenant in the property.

Stripping landlords of this notice mechanism is anticipated to have detrimental consequences. Landlords may feel a diminished sense of control over their property, potentially prompting exits from the buy-to-let market. As the Spring Budget approaches, the government could instill confidence among buy-to-let landlords by reintroducing a reduction in Stamp Duty on properties acquired for letting purposes, encouraging larger portfolios. Additionally, reinstating some form of mortgage relief could facilitate landlords’ continued participation in the buy-to-let market, especially considering the challenges faced by the younger generation in property ownership.

“To address the surging demand for rental properties, the Government must encourage landlords to exit the rental market and consider offering first-time buyers incentives akin to Help to Buy. The current housing crisis and the impending removal of Section 21 highlight the urgency of such measures.”

With 22 years of expertise in residential landlord and tenant law, Peters has navigated clients through key legislations such as the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Housing Act 1988 and 1996, the Deregulation Act 2015, and the recent 2023 Renters Reform Bill. As the author of the award-nominated book ‘Lettings Law for Property Professionals: Your Legal Questions Answered,’ Peters brings a wealth of knowledge to her role.

Dutton Gregory Solicitors, headquartered in Hampshire, is a comprehensive national legal firm serving both private and corporate clients.


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