Don’t skimp on the details – PropTech expert’s message to the new government

Written by Neil Cobbold, Commercial Director Reapit | PayProp

With a historic majority for Keir Starmer and the Labour Party, there can be no doubt over which party will be shaping the future of housing for the next five years. But, after a manifesto that was light on specific private rented sector policy details – agents, landlords and tenants all need more clarity about the private rented sector pledges Labour has made.

 

Throughout the campaign, Labour has made it clear that housing is a priority. There’s no doubt that some of the party’s big pledges around planning and mortgage support schemes will influence the dynamics of the UK sales market – something my colleague Steve Richmond, Reapit’s General Manager for UK&I, agrees with based on his wealth of experience leading operations at some of the UK’s most prominent estate agency groups.

 

What is also clear is that the same planning reforms and mortgage support policies will impact lettings too. A mortgage guarantee scheme and an extensive new build programme supporting renters to become first-time buyers has the potential to free up capacity in the private rented sector (PRS), but that will take time to deliver. What the new housing minister needs to focus on from day one is encouraging current landlords to stay in the sector, and to do that we need detailed policies early in the new parliament.

 

We know from extensive industry comments on the scrapped Renters (Reform) Bill that many are worried the proposed abolition of Section 21 will take place before the courts are ready to absorb the inevitable increase in Section 8 evictions. The industry needs reassurance that court reforms to speed up Section 8 evictions will be prioritised to provide a reliable and timely court service.

 

Additionally, pledges – including the devolution of some of England’s housing policy to regional mayors and to increase energy efficiency measures for rental properties – need more meat on the bone, so landlords can accurately assess how these policies will impact their properties.

 

Landlords will need a level of reassurance to continue to see the PRS as a viable investment. The vast majority already provide decent homes for millions of people. But many landlords could already be considering their position based on the rhetoric from Labour, rather than actual policy details. My message to Angela Rayner and Matthew Pennycook would be not to skimp on the details, and to take on board the feedback from the industry as Labour progresses its plans or the PRS.

About PayProp:

PayProp is an automated transactional and reconciliation platform for the residential lettings industry that is both easier to use and more powerful than existing solutions offered by banks and traditional software vendors. The platform sets the standard for speed and accuracy of payments, cost and payment status transparency, offering customers complete transactional control, and regulatory compliance.

PayProp was launched in 2004 and started trading in the UK in 2015. Since then it has quickly grown to become one of the largest processors of rental payments for the residential lettings industry, processing over £2.6bn in rental payments annually on behalf of thousands of letting agencies.

In the United Kingdom, PayProp is regularly consulted by governments on private rented sector issues and has been featured in the Telegraph, FT Advisor and ITV News. The company is recognised for its achievements by Kerfuffle, the Negotiator, the 2023 Global Business Tech Awards, the ESTAS and as an Industry Supplier by Propertymark and Safeagent.

On 4 December 2023 Reapit and PayProp announced that the two companies had merged. The combined company offers clients the opportunity to have a single provider that delivers capabilities across sales, letting, property management and client account management.

For more information, visit: www.payprop.com/uk

 

About Reapit:

Reapit is the original, end-to-end business technology provider for estate agencies of all sizes. We’ve been helping sales and letting agents to build relationships and grow their businesses for more than 25 years. Our technology connects property professionals in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand with buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords to power the relationships that change lives.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Reapit’s market-leading technology product suite provides estate and letting agents with powerful tools covering lead generation, sales, lettings, property management, client accounts, key management reports and analytics, underpinned by a robust security infrastructure.

Worldwide, Reapit technology is used by over 78,000 agents in more than 15,000 branches, with over a million properties under management, enabling them to run their businesses, identify opportunities for growth, efficiently sell homes, manage rental properties, collect rent, communicate with their clients, and deliver an outstanding customer experience every time.

For more information visit www.reapit.com