Renters Reform Bill

Renters Reform Bill released!!

Filed in Breaking News, Landlords by on 15th May, 2023 0 Comments

Details of the delayed Renters Reform Bill have now been published. The Renters Reform Bill is introduced by Government in this link (click here). Feel free to leave your comments on the ALL Wessex facebook page. In summary:

The Renters (Reform) Bill is intended to improve the system for both the 11 million private renters and 2.3 million landlords in England. The reforms have been developed in consultation with landlord and tenant groups over the past 5 years. The Government claims the Renters (Reform) Bill will:

  • Abolish section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and move to a simpler tenancy structure where all assured tenancies are periodic (Note: the loss of fixed terms will have a significant impact on the student rental process!)– providing more security for tenants and empowering them to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of eviction;
  • Introduce more comprehensive possession grounds so landlords can still recover their property (including where they wish to sell their property or move in close family) and to make it easier to repossess properties where tenants are at fault, for example in cases of anti-social behaviour and repeat rent arrears;
  • Provide stronger protections against backdoor eviction by ensuring tenants are able to appeal excessively above-market rents which are purely designed to force them out. As now, landlords will still be able to increase rents to market price for their properties and an independent tribunal will make a judgement on this, if needed. To avoid fettering the freedom of the judiciary, the tribunal will continue to be able to determine the actual market rent of a property;
  • Introduce a new Private Rented Sector Ombudsman that private landlords which will provide fair, impartial, and binding resolution to many issues and prove quicker, cheaper, and less adversarial than the court system;
  • Create a Privately Rented Property Portal to help landlords understand their legal obligations and demonstrate compliance (giving good landlords confidence in their position), alongside providing better information to tenants to make informed decisions when entering into a tenancy agreement. It will also support local councils – helping them target enforcement activity where it is needed most; and
  • Give tenants the right to request a pet in the property, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. To support this, landlords will be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to their property.

The Bill will pass through the House of Commons before going to the House of Lords where I suspect some challenges / amendments will be made. It will then be presented to the House of Commons again for voting in. What is not clear are timescales in it’s introduction as law!

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About the Author ()

Rob Crawford is the chairman of the Association of Local Landlords (Wessex). Rob is a practicing landlord with a property portfolio that includes small private residential properties and HMO's. Rob is a qualified letting agent and former owner of Kingfisher Lettings & Management. He is now a share holder of the successful online lettings company Lettingsupermarket.com.

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