Having voted to leave the EU a great many pieces of legislation will need to be reviewed which will undoubtedly have an impact on the property sector.
The Bank of England has raised concerns about the economic uncertainly following this result. Certainly, the pound and UK stock market has seen a significant drop in value after the result was announced. This may lead to landlords being hard hit because lending for the buy to let market may become more difficult to obtain.
Furthermore, legislative change will need to be implemented. A number of regulations rely on the European Communities Act 1972 which presumably will need to be repealed. There is some uncertainty about how the Government will deal with this. The Government may choose to re-implement some of the regulations individually or collectively re-implement them all. Either option is possible in principle. However, some regulations are popular and some are certainly not. Consequently, what and if any regulations deriving from EU matters are implemented will be dependent on who is in power at the time the decisions need to be made. The regulations which may be subject to repeal or implementation will include the EPC Regulations, Heat Network Regulation and most particularly the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations which are of great importance as they cover property misdescriptions.
That said, the current government has not yet served the Article 50 notice to leave the EU and it seems that it will not occur until at least October, once a new Conservative leader has been chosen. In any event, upon service of the Article 50 notice there is a 2-year notice period, which could be increased further by negotiation. Consequently, any changes are likely to be delayed for some time.
Finally, the EU result calls into question the proposed legislation in the Queen’s speech and the implementation timetable for legislation already passed. This is particularly so for the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and the Immigration Act 2016, due to government departments now having other priorities!
We will keep readers updated if and when changes are made to the property sector.