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Gove Highlights the Importance of a Robust Private Rental Sector

Michael Gove, the Housing Secretary, championed the crucial role of a strong private rented sector during his address at the Conservative Party Conference.

At a fringe event hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies, Gove responded to a query from Ben Beadle, the Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA). Beadle’s question revolved around the significance of “a thriving private rented sector where landlords have the confidence to provide decent homes” in shaping the future of housing provision.

In no uncertain terms, Gove replied, “You can’t have an effective housing market, or provision of the homes we need, without having a variety of different types of tenure. A route to homeownership, a private rented sector that facilitates labour mobility among other things, and socially rented homes in order to help people who are, for whatever reason, eligible for, and deserving of, that level of support.”

Recognising the NRLA’s collaborative efforts with the Government on the reform of the private rented sector, Gove remarked that the association has consistently vouched for a ‘balanced market’ that caters to both landlords and tenants. He further stated, “Actually, the overwhelming majority of landlords want a relationship with their tenants where their tenants stay. Easily the best thing is to have a long-term relationship with someone who pays the rent, looks after the property and where there are those ties.”

In a later conversation organised by Shelter, Gove reiterated his stance on the necessity for a thriving and expanding private rented sector.

Echoing Gove’s sentiments while emphasizing on concrete actions, NRLA Chief Executive Ben Beadle stated, “The Housing Secretary is right to acknowledge the importance of a thriving rental market alongside all other tenures. But the only way to achieve this is to develop policies that can secure the confidence of the vast majority of responsible landlords. When section 21 repossessions end, landlords need certainty that the courts will more swiftly process possession claims where there is good cause. Alongside, this, we need to reform a tax system which is penalising the provision of the very homes renters are struggling to find.”