Landlords and letting agents reveal thoughts on Renters (Reform) Bill

23 August 2023

Goodlord and Vouch reveals results from an industry survey of more than 850 letting agents and landlords.

Ahead of the sixth annual State of the Lettings Industry report, Goodlord and Vouch are releasing initial insights from their landmark survey on what letting agents and landlords really think about the Renters (Reform) Bill. 

This year, Goodlord and Vouch gathered responses from 2,000 letting agents, landlords and tenants. The report, which will be published on 12 September, will cover key topics for the sector - from how agents are feeling about upcoming legislation, landlord considerations about reducing their portfolios, letting agents' thoughts on the sector, and how tenants are coping with cost of living challenges.

Here are some exclusive, early insights into opinions on the Renters (Reform) Bill.

What letting agents and landlords think about the Renters (Reform) Bill 

Image is a graph that says: How do you feel about the proposed regulation in the Renters Reform Bill? It separates Letting agents/landlords. Letting agents were 9.3% very pessmistic, 34% pessimistic, 27.7% neither, 21.2% somewhat optimistic, 7.8% very optimistic. Landlords are 24.8% very pessimistic, 29.1% pessimistic, 32.5% neither optimistic or pessimistic, 12% somewhat optimistic and 1.7% very optimistic.

This significant piece of legislation continues to divide opinion. Landlords are overall feeling pessimistic about the introduction of the new rules - with 25% feeling “very” pessimistic and 29% feeling “somewhat pessimistic” (54% in total). Only 14% are feeling at all optimistic. 

Meanwhile, responses from letting agents are more mixed. 43% feel either somewhat or very pessimistic about the Bill. However 29% are feeling optimistic about the changes. 

Are landlords softening in Section 21 opposition?

Section21reactions

 In last year’s State of the Lettings Industry report, the abolition of Section 21 (banning “no fault” evictions) proved a highly contentious area, with the majority of agents and landlords believing the scrapping of Section 21 would have a negative impact.  

However, whilst sentiments are still broadly pessimistic, the position of some stakeholders appears to have softened this year, particularly amongst landlords. 

In 2022, 71% of landlords believed it would have a negative impact. In 2023, this has dropped to 62%. At the same time, the number of landlords feeling neutral about the change has risen from 12% to 29%. 

In contrast, letting agents appear to have lost optimism over the course of the year. In 2022, 27% of agents believed the abolition of Section 21 would have a positive impact. In 2023, this number had dropped to just 11%. 

Renters (Reform) Bill: your simple guide

 What about other changes?

Landlords are also feeling more ambivalent about pets in lets compared to 2022. This year, the number of landlords feeling ‘neither positive nor negative’ about having pets in their properties has risen from 18% to 35%. 

Opinion is also divided around the introduction of a property ombudsman. Landlords hold the most negative views on the introduction of the ombudsman, with 43% believing it will have a negative impact on the sector, and only 22% believing it would have a positive impact. Conversely, 42% of letting agents and 41% of industry suppliers believe that it will have a positive impact. 

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Further reading