The Government’s Housing Secretary Michael Gove has made a number of announcements relating to the property market in the past couple of weeks. Here Maunder Taylor, who provide commercial property investment services in and around Potters Bar, outline the key points and what it means for property owners (or those looking to purchase a property) and renters.

No-Fault Evictions

Mr Gove said that the so-called Section 21 evictions – where tenants have to vacate the property within two months, and the landlord doesn’t have to give a reason for the eviction – will be ‘outlawed’ by the time of the next General Election (which must take place by the end of January 2025).

It was part of a package of measures contained in the Renters’ Reform Bill, but this element has not passed through Parliament. The Government initially said that ‘sufficient progress’ had not been made in modernising the courts; however, interviewed by the BBC’s Laura Kuennsberg, Mr Gove said that ‘we will have put the money into the courts to ensure that they can enforce that (the ban on no-fault evictions)’.

For full details of the full proposals in the Bill, check out our previous blog post here,.

The Relaxation of Planning Rules

Mr Gove has also signalled that empty commercial buildings (including shops and offices) of any size could be converted into homes without requiring planning permission. It will also cut the need for the premises to have been empty for a period of time. The Government has done this by laying down legislation in Parliament which aims to extend current Permitted Development Rights.

This is part of a series of proposals which form part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, which focuses on relaxing planning rules in order to help kick-start the Government’s bid to make more homes available. This is particularly focused on London.

The Act will also see brownfield (rather than Green Belt) sites prioritised for development. One possible way of achieving this is to allow local authorities to set their own infrastructure levies on developments, rather than the existing Section 106 agreements. Councils would be encouraged to set lower levies on brownfield housing projects.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities says the proposed amendments to planning law will still require buildings to be safe, uphold good standards of living space and have natural light. And the Act is also expected to introduce ‘street powers’ where residents can propose and implement property redevelopment plans based on their design preferences. This is particularly aimed at suburban areas.

However, no timescale has yet been set for any of these proposals, which have been criticised by the Labour Party as ‘a reannouncement of old ideas.’ The Local Government Association has previously warned that offices, shops and barns are not always suitable for conversion into housing, and it could result in the creation of poor-quality homes.

Commercial Property Investment in Potters Bar from Maunder Taylor

Maunder Taylor offer a wide range of property services for investors, landlords and tenants. As well as commercial property investment in the Potters Bar area, we also offer lease negotiations advice, property valuations, insurance and residential block management in many parts of London and Hertfordshire.

We are also a traditional, independent estate agent based in Whetstone – you can call us on 020 8446 0011 or follow this link and fill in the online form if you have any questions about any of our services.