How is the increasing size of the private rented sector affecting UK Government policy? How are private landlords and letting agents regulated? How secure are private tenants in their housing? What are the main aspects of the debate around affordability and rent control? And how are private rented sector policies affecting Government housing policies more broadly?

Talking us through these issues is Wendy Wilson, the housing policy specialist in the House of Commons Library. She spoke to us on Monday 15 April 2019, the same day the Government announced that it would consult on abolishing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 which provides for ‘no fault’ evictions in assured shorthold tenancies in England.

To go straight to the answers that interest you the most, skip to:

    • What has been happening in the private rented sector (PRS) recently? (0:45)
    • What effect, if any, have changes in the PRS had on Government policy in England? (2:10)
    • What does private rented sector regulation mean? Are private landlords regulated? (4:15)
    • What is meant by the term “rogue landlords”? How helpful is it when considering landlords as a whole and, by extension, how they are regulated? (6:36)
    • Is there any regulation of letting and managing agents? (8:52)
    • To what extent are tenants in the private rented secure in their housing? (11:35)
    • In what circumstances do landlords choose to use Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices? (12:59)
    • What are the main aspects of the debate around tackling affordability in the private rented sector? What have discussions over introducing rent control involved? (13:53)
    • What rent control policies did the Scottish Government introduce recently? (16:15)
    • What might the consequences of rent control be for landlords and the sector as a whole? (17:02)
    • How have changes to Government policy on the private rented sector affected policies on housing more broadly? (18:10)
    • What are the Labour Party’s policies on the private rented sector and housing more broadly? (19:40)
    • Recommended Commons Library briefing papers for further reading (20:32)

Further reading

To dig deeper into the issues discussed in this episode, you might find the following Commons Library briefings and Insights useful:

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