With the UK having voted to leave the European Union the issue of how this affects the Private Rented Sector will be on some landlord’s and tenant’s minds.

Uncertainty

It is inevitable that there will be a period of economic uncertainty. This might have knock-on effects for the economy more generally which may be felt in terms of reductions in further house building and in lending for property. This will pose problems for the continued delivery of homes and for landlords looking to borrow. The key question will be how quickly things stabilise.

Immigration

Immigration has been a key issue in the referendum campaign. The government has already passed two immigration acts in the last two years. It now seems likely that there will be a third such Bill in order to fill gaps in border controls left by leaving the EU. This may also involve further regulation on the PRS

Loss of Changes

Given the enormous amount of work required it is likely that a lot of other intended legislation will be put to one side. This will mean that potential changes in the operation of tenancy deposit protection which were being discussed by the government in order to simplify the process and the consultation on changes to the definition of HMOs and an extension of HMO licensing will be set aside.

EU Legislation

There is a certain amount of EU legislation that impacts the PRS. This is still in force right now but as part of the process of departure, it will be necessary for these to either be repealed or replaced with a home-grown version. Particularly of note in this context are the heat network regulations which affect HMOs. I have written more on these here. Also needing to be looked at will be the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations which also rely on and EU directive. A substantial amount of regulation affecting agents will also need to be replaced.

Conclusion

There will be a wide range of laws which will need considering and this will lead to a period of some confusion as to what will apply. It will also presumably lead to a period where some laws which technically apply will be enforced in a lacklustre fashion on the basis that they are shortly to be repealed.