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What the Renters' Reform Bill Means for Landlords

The Renters' Reform Bill has the potential to bring significant changes to the rental market, affecting letting agents, landlords and tenants alike. The bill has begun its route through Parliament, having had its first reading in the House of Commons on the 17th May 2023.

Although it will take a while to come into law, we now have a better idea of what to expect from this long-delayed piece of legislation. It is important to stay informed about these potential reforms to understand how they may impact your rental business. Keep reading to discover the key aspects of the Renters' Reform Bill and discuss the potential implications for landlords and letting agents.

How the Renters’ Reform Bill will Affect Lettings

Abolishing Section 21 Notices

One of the most significant changes proposed in the Renters' Reform Bill is the abolition of Section 21 notices, also known as "no-fault" evictions. This means that landlords will no longer have the ability to evict tenants without providing a reason.

Instead, landlords will need to rely on Section 8 notices, which require specific grounds for eviction, such as rent arrears or breach of tenancy agreement. This change aims to provide tenants with more security and stability in their tenancies, but it concerns some landlords as it allows them less flexibility over who lives in their property.

One positive is that there are set reasons why a landlord can issue a Section 8 notice, including if they intend to sell or live in the property. In addition, grounds for eviction such as tenancy areas of anti-social behaviour will become mandatory, so landlords are more likely to succeed in court if they have evidence to back them up.

End to Fixed Term Contracts

The government wants to move all tenants onto periodic tenancies, abolishing fixed-term contracts. This means tenants will have to give just two months’ notice at any time before vacating a property. The result of this will be more uncertainty for landlords in a market that is already challenging.

The current system of fixed-term contracts allows some breathing space for those who rent property, knowing that they have six months or a year before a potential void period. The Renters’ Reform Bill takes away that benefit.

Rent Reviews

The bill limits rent increases to once per year. This is to prevent tenants facing spiralling costs for their home. There will also be a new minimum notice period of two months for these rent reviews too, allowing the tenant to decide whether or not to remain in the property.

With interest rates and other costs rising, this might seem restrictive to landlords who need to raise rents to cover their outgoings.

Renting Restrictions

Landlords will not be able to refuse tenants the right to keep pets without any reasonable grounds. However, the landlord can insist that the tenant take out pet insurance, which will lead to some protections for the property and gives them grounds to refuse a pet if the tenant does not comply.

In addition, landlords will not be able to issue blanket bans on tenants on benefits, with children or for any other reason.

Mandatory Landlord Portal and Ombudsman

Landlords will have to register their properties with a new portal that will be introduced. This register is intended to deter rogue landlords from the sector and provide details on landlords that tenants can view in order to make a decision over whether to rent a particular property. It will also help landlords remain up-to-date with the latest obligations.

The ombudsman will be in place to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants that might take place during the tenancy.

Stay on Top of the Law

Our outsourced property management solution helps you stay on top of the law regarding tenancies. We draw up your tenancy agreements, in accordance with the latest legislation. This includes the Renters’ Reform Bill when it eventually comes into law. Talk to us about streamlining your processes today by calling 0208 5757630.


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