New Laws Announced in King's Speech: Impact for Landlords

King Charles read his first King’s Speech to a packed Parliament in a day of pomp and ceremony in Westminster.

The King arrived at Westminster riding in a golden state carriage accompanied by Queen Camilla.

Wearing the Imperial State Crown and purple robes, the king took his place seated on the sovereign’s throne in the House of Lords.

He outlined the proposed 21 new laws Prime Minister Rishi Sunak intends to pass before the next General Election, which he must call by December 17 next year.

The Prime Minister said the speech reflected his vision of a better Britain. Still, the address was a rehash of several already announced policies, like granting new licences for drilling oil and gas in the North Sea and stopping young people from smoking.

Section 21 stays for now

For landlords, the Renters (Reform) Bill is re-presented before Parliament after making stalled progress in the last session.

Sunak intends to give tenants better security of tenure and value for money while landlords gain certainty they regain their properties when needed, with or without Section 21 no-fault evictions.

The BIll delivers the government’s manifesto pledge of scrapping Section 21. Still, the controversial measure stays on the table until justice system reforms and more robust grounds for possession are in place.

Mandatory grounds for possession will allow landlords to take back a home to sell or to live in while adding new grounds for evicting tenants in as little as two weeks if they break the tenancy agreement or damage the property.

Protecting landlord rights

The Bill also has measures to:

  • Give tenants the right to keep pets
  • Link councils, landlords and tenants with an online Private Rented Property Portal
  • Introduce a Property Ombudsman to handle tenant complaints
  • Lift blanket bans from landlords on tenants claiming benefits or who have children
  • Hand more enforcement powers to councils tackling landlords who break the law
  • Scrap the need for C-rated energy performance certificates for private rented homes
  • Offer tailored mandatory possession grounds for student landlords

“Unexpected evictions cause financial difficulty and disrupt employment and schooling, and over a quarter of households that moved in the last year did not do so by choice,” said a housing spokesman.

“Most landlords and let properties are sensitive to shifts in interest rates – almost 60 per cent of landlords (and nearly 70 per cent of properties let) are financed through a buy-to-let mortgage. We must protect their rights to increase rents to the market level.

Leasehold reforms

The speech also outlined a Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill framed to deliver Tory manifesto pledges to give homeowners a fairer deal.

The BIll contains a range of measures aimed at curbing attempts by builders and developers to improve homeownership for millions of leaseholders by making it cheaper and more accessible for more leaseholders to extend their lease, buy their freehold, and take over management of their building.

Read the King’s Speech briefing notes posted by the government.

King’s Speech FAQ

What is the King’s Speech?

The King’s Speech sets out the government’s priorities for legislation over the coming months. The government writes the speech, but the monarch reads out the contents. The speech is expected to outline around 20 new proposed laws.

Why is the King’s Speech at the same time each year?

For 500 years, the King’s Speech has marked the state opening of Parliament. The State Opening takes place on the first day of the new Parliamentary year and marks the unity of the monarch, the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

Does everything in the King’s Speech become law?

The speech sets out the government’s timetable for the coming year, but sometimes events change the government’s priorities and some proposed laws are dropped or delayed.

Is this the first King’s Speech for Charles?

King Charles has stood in for the Queen and read the Queen’s Speech, but this is his first speech as King.

What happens during the State Opening of Parliament?

The State Opening of Parliament is a ceremonious day that starts with the searching of cellars below the Palace of Westminster, where the Guy Fawkes conspiracy planted barrels of gunpowder in the plot to murder James 1 in 1605. Other parts of the ceremony include keeping an MP hostage at Buckingham Palace while the King is away, reading the King’s Speech and a debate about the speech.

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Investing in a Property

Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.