Landlords across the country no doubt breathed a sigh of relief at the news of the Conservative party winning a majority in last week’s General Election, after concerns that alternative outcomes could have crippled the private rented sector (PRS).

With the Labour party proposing longer tenancies and rent controls, landlords could have faced a tumultuous five years if Ed Miliband had won a majority, or formed a coalition with other left wing parties.

Despite polls suggesting the results would be neck and neck between the two major parties, the Conservatives secured a narrow margin, meaning there will be little or no major intervention into the private rented sector.

However, inspired by the Lib Dems, a law to ban 'revenge evictions' has now been passed by the House of Lords after a long campaign spearheaded by housing charity Shelter.

The ‘revenge eviction’ bill will mean that landlords who wish to serve a section 21 to evict a tenant will not be able to do so if a complaint about housing conditions was made and not responded to adequately. Of course, this should not affect any responsible, professional landlords.

The new law has been passed as part of the Deregulation Bill and will be effective from 1st October 1st 2015.

Generally speaking, the Conservative party policy on the PRS has been one of voluntary improvements and codes of practice rather than interfering directly in the sector with excessive legislation. Nonetheless, small print in the 2015 Budget does intend to make it easier for private tenants to sub-let rooms.

Brian Murphy from the Mortgage Advice Bureau said this could cause ‘a headache’ for some landlords: “The biggest concern for landlords is that this will make it easier for tenants to re-rent the property or rooms to other renters. This also increases the risk of rent-to-rent scams, whereby a middle man poses as a normal tenant, converts shared living spaces into extra rooms and then charges rent for on an individual basis at a much higher price than they are paying the landlord."

On the wider housing market, the Conservative party’s election manifesto focussed far more heavily on pro-ownership promises to help more people, especially young people, get on the property ladder. These include plans to build 200,000 new Starter Homes exclusively for first time buyers under the age of 40, extending the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to 2020 as well the new Help to Buy ISA offering a 25% deposit top-up for first time buyers.

Whilst the buy-to-let market will inevitably change in the next five years, most landlords can be safe in the knowledge that Government-imposed restrictions on landlords are far less likely under a Conservative majority government.

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