Phil Cooper from Arnolds Keys explains what tenants and landlords want from the next government. 

It can’t have escaped your notice that there’s a General Election happening next month, and housing is likely to be a key issue for all the parties seeking your vote. 

Traditionally, it’s been homeowners who have been the target of most canvassing and, while they are still an important constituency, this election will also see politicians addressing the rental market. 

So, what are tenants and landlords hoping to see from the new government? And are their aspirations mutually exclusive? 

For tenants, perhaps the key thing on the wishlist is security. The abolition of ‘no-fault’ Section 21 evictions will be the primary demand, coupled perhaps with extended notice periods to give those who are having to move the time to find a new home. 

Phil Cooper, lettings partner at Arnolds KeysPhil Cooper, lettings partner at Arnolds Keys (Image: Arnolds Keys)

With rents having risen considerably in recent years, the other big issue is affordability. We don’t yet know whether rent controls will be on any party’s agenda (at the time of writing not all manifestos had been published), but some tenant groups are certainly pushing for this measure. Another key issue in making a home affordable is energy efficiency, and tenants will be hoping for a more robust attitude to minimum EPC ratings. 

Most landlords are resigned to the disappearance of Section 21 sooner or later, no matter which party forms the next government (Labour has already committed to its immediate abolition if they assume power). Alongside this, landlords will want to see a simplification of the process of evicting problem tenants (those who haven’t paid their rent, behave anti-socially or breach the terms of their tenancies in other ways). 

That would mean an overhaul of the Section 8 rules, and in particular processes for speedy resolution of such matters, ideally without resorting to court action for all but the most complex cases. 

Landlords will also want to ensure that the new government recognises their right to make a fair return on their investment, which may mean a legal framework providing a reasonable methodology for reviewing rents, longer fixed-term tenancies, and above all stability in taxation. 

These two manifestos – for tenants and landlords – may seem in conflict, but it is in both groups’ interests that we see a stable and sustainable private rental sector which works for tenants and landlords alike. Squaring that circle will be the hard task for the next housing minister, no matter which party holds the keys to Number 10. 

For more information, visit