Promised in 2019, the Renters’ Reform Bill has finally been published by the Government. Aimed at creating a fairer private rental sector, the Bill includes sweeping changes to tenants’ rights, including abolishing Section 21 no-fault evictions.
💡 Key Points
The Renters' Reform Bill will make it unlawful for landlords to put a blanket ban on tenants who receive benefits or have children. The private rented sector will also be subject to the Decent Homes Standard so that accommodation is free of serious hazards to health and safety and landlords keep homes in a good state of repair. Accommodation should be clean and appropriate with facilities in usable condition. Tenants will enjoy the right to request to have a pet in their home. Landlords, in turn, can insist on insurance to cover any potential damages made by pets.
The Bill also includes a ban on Section 21 no-fault evictions. Landlords will be required to give a reason for the eviction.
There are new provisions allowing landlords to recover their properties when they wish to sell, move a family member in, or if the tenants don’t pay rent or breach the conditions of their tenancy.
Slashed notice periods
If tenants engage in anti-social behaviour or breach the terms of their tenancy, the Bill gives landlords and agents new powers to evict. The government also promises to digitise court processes to achieve outcomes more quickly. There are plans to create an ombudsman to settle disputes quickly, at a lower cost, and without the need to go to court. Registering with the ombudsman will be a requirement for private landlords.
Access to information
Plans for a digital property portal will give landlords and tenants access to the information they need to make good decisions. The rules and regulations landlords and agents need to follow are complex and the portal should offer a single source of truth. Tenants will also be able to find answers to their questions.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “Our new laws introduced to Parliament today will support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants, while delivering our manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions. This will ensure that everyone can live somewhere which is decent, safe and secure - a place they’re truly proud to call home."
📢 Look out for an upcoming live webinar about the Renters' Reform Bill in June with David Smith, Partner at JMW Solicitors. Stay tuned to Fixflo.com for more details and how to register.
As an agent, you have a lot to think about to protect your business, especially with these reforms. Keep on top of what needs doing with our Compliance Checklist for Letting Agents and show your clients you're a trustworthy pair of hands for their portfolio. 👍