The long-awaited Renters Reform Bill has now been presented to Parliament so it starts its journey through various readings in the 2 Houses of Parliament before it receives Royal Assent and becomes law. We’re at the start of the journey, but we suspect it will progress at a fairly good pace.

To understand fully what processes are going to change and the impact this will have on Landlords and Tenants, we really need ‘the detail’. These will all come out in time but lets just remind ourselves of ‘the facts'.

  • This bill is all part of the Governments strategy to provide tenants with safer, fairer and higher quality homes BUT also to make it easier for Landlords to gain possession of their homes where there is any anti-social behaviour or where the tenant fails to pay the rent.
  • There will be new grounds to end a tenancy where the landlord needs to sell or where the property is required for themselves or their families.
  • There is also to be a reformed Court process which will be digitised and therefore make the process quicker for all parties concerned.
  • The Government will also look to apply decent home standards to the private rental sector for the first time (currently apply to social housing).

So, now we've looked at the facts, heres our thoughts:

When it comes to landlords, the press have been fairly negative saying landlords will be selling up, but this has all been blown out of proportion. What we’ve heard so far doesn’t impact landlords too much; not landlords who are working with us anyway as rarely is a s.21 notice used unless the tenant has breached some clauses in the AST, the landlord is selling the property or substantial rent arrears.

Using a s.21 form to evict a tenant due to landlord disrepair or a contrived dispute with a tenant is not something we would condone nor would our landlord’s consider. The government are using this Act to reform loopholes and if undertaken practically and within the spirit of genuine landlord and tenant relationships then reform should not be onerous on genuine decent landlords, that LPS Real Estate like to work with.

Our advice is to not make any quick decisions based on these updates; the rental market remains strong. Rental property remains in huge demand with the number of applicants far outweighing available properties available so sticking around is good not just for you but also for renters who need properties like yours! 

The headlines:

  • Section 21 notices to end a tenancy will be abolished.
  • All Landlords (whether they use an agent or not) will be required to join a new Ombudsman scheme which will help resolve any disputes between Landlord and Tenant
  • A new digital platform will be created to help Landlords understand their legal obligations and to help tenants make an informed decision when entering into a tenancy agreement.
  • All tenants will have a legal right to request a pet, which the landlord should not unreasonably refuse. The landlord has the right to request pet insurance to cover any damages caused by the pet.
  • It will be illegal for Landlords or agents to have a blanket ban on tenants in receipt of housing benefit.
  • It will be illegal for Landlords or agents to have a blanket ban on tenants with Children.

At this stage this is the only information which has been released by Government, but we’ll keep you updated with the facts and our view points as and when. And, if there's anything you'd like to discuss please get in touch with Karon on our rental team.