Following the Prime Minister calling a General Election for the 8th May, the obvious question will be "what will the effect be on policies and legislation for the private rented sector?" The answer, of course, lies in the balance of power after the election.
The pollsters seem to be predicting a significant majority increase for the Conservatives. We also know that this is a very difficult election to call as there is little information available about a comparable election. It is rare for sitting governments to enjoy such a significant lead in the polls at this stage, mid term, in the election cycle. Usually they try and do the difficult things early in the cycle and then people feel better by the end of the cycle and are more likely to re-elect them. In the current situation the government are 40 plus points ahead! Whilst it is undoubtedly true that this give some succour to the Prime Minister in deciding to call the election, will it tell the real story? Much of the American election seemed to be fought on which was the less disliked candidate and this may change the expected results.
Also the election seems to be rapidly heading into a rerun of the brexit referendum. Bearing in mind that only 37% of the voters voted to leave the EU (this was over 50% of those who voted, as there was nearly 30% who did not vote), there were a significant number of people whose views are not known. The Liberal Democrats, though almost wiped out in the last General Election with only single figures of MP, they have been winning many of the by elections for local government seats, showing a very strong resurgence. The question will be can they turn this into Parliamentary seats and will enough people be disaffected with the path of the current government over brexit to vote for them? It seem universal that Labour are having a difficult time, though with article 50 triggered, they may pick up some of their historical support from voters who switched to UKIP.
If you have a large overall Conservative majority, as is widely predicted, then we presume much of the current policy will simply continue. If the Lib Dems manage to make this a referendum on the way brexit is being handled (this is not to say they will not go through with brexit, but it will more likely be about the terms on which it happens) then the results will be very unpredictable.
We know most legislation in Parliament will get scrapped on the dissolution of Parliament on the 3 May. However, this does not apply to the consultations, for example on tenant fees. Purdah is a period when the civil service cannot be seen to be promoting one MP/candidate over another. It is for this reason that the consultation meetings were cancelled. However, the consultation is still running and finishes 6 days before the election. Where it goes from there will depend on the new Housing Minister (all MPs cease to be MPs on the dissolution of Parliament) and as Housing Minister Gavin Barwell is in a marginal seat (margin of just 165 votes in 2015). The General Election may produce several new cabinet ministers through either choice or necessity though with a Conservative majority government it is unlikely that the tenant fees ban will not go ahead.