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Renters reform dead from the general election – What should you do now?

by | May 24, 2024 | Blog

Home $ Blog $ Renters reform dead from the general election – What should you do now?

The recent news of the Renters Reform Bill being shelved ahead of the General Election has left many landlords uncertain about the future of the private rented sector. The proposed legislation, which aimed to abolish Section 21 no-fault evictions and provide greater security for tenants, has been a topic of much debate and discussion within the industry.

With the Bill’s fate now uncertain, it’s essential for landlords to stay informed and proactive in their approach to managing their rental properties. 

What were all the proposed changes of the renters reform?

Here are some of the most important changes to the renters reform that are no longer happening.

 

the renters reform being cancelled

Review and update tenancy agreements

Ensure your tenancy agreements are legally compliant and clearly outline the rights and responsibilities of both parties. With the possibility of reforms being reintroduced, it’s wise to review your agreements and seek professional advice if necessary to ensure they align with current and potential future regulations.

Focus on securing good tenants With the uncertainty surrounding the future of rental reforms, landlords should be proactive in securing reliable, responsible tenants. Before regulations potentially make it harder to evict problematic tenants, it’s advisable to thoroughly vet prospective tenants and only accept those you deem suitable for your property. Having good tenants in place can help mitigate potential issues down the line.

Pay attention to other updates to property regulations

In addition to the rental reforms, landlords should be aware of other impending changes to property regulations. For instance, there are likely to be updates to EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) regulations that could coincide with the potential reintroduction of rental reforms. Keeping abreast of these changes is crucial for maintaining compliance.

Keeping up with property regulations can be a challenge

We partner with Cozee to help landlords manage their properties. Get a free rental valuation today to find out more

For existing tenancies, Section 21 abolition is delayed until the Lord Chancellor publishes an assessment that courts can handle possession cases efficiently. Tenants will be able to terminate periodic tenancies with 2 months’ notice after the first 6 months.

Conversion of Assured Shorthold Tenancies to Assured Tenancies

All new tenancies will be periodic Assured Tenancies, not fixed-term Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

This ends the “AST trap” for long leases with ground rent over £250/£1000. Also all private residential tenancies will be periodic rolling contracts, not fixed-terms. This includes student lets, despite concerns it could reduce supply in university towns.

Tenant’s right to pets

Tenants can request landlord’s consent for pets, which cannot be unreasonably refused. Guidance on reasonableness factors like property size, shared access, allergies etc is expected. Complaints can be escalated to the new Ombudsman.

pets that in a property

Private Rented Sector Ombudsman

All private landlords must join a government-approved redress scheme/ombudsman. The Ombudsman can require landlords to apologise, provide information, take remedial action or pay compensation up to £25,000. Likely to be administered by the existing Housing Ombudsman Service.

Private Rented Sector Database

A new digital database for registering all landlords and rental properties. Required before marketing a property, with penalties for false/misleading entries. Aims to improve transparency and enforcement in the rental market.

What should you do now?

If you’re wondering what to do now, here are some of the things that you should be thinking about as a landlord:

Stay up-to-date with industry developments 

Closely monitor any updates or announcements from housing organisations, industry bodies, and the government regarding potential changes to rental regulations. While it will be some time before new regulations reforming the rental market come into force, it’s crucial to stay informed about the evolving landscape.

Keeping up with property regulations can be a challenge

We partner with Cozee to help landlords manage their properties. Get a free rental valuation today to find out more

At this time, it is not clear if the bill will be taken up by the next party after the general election in the same way or there will be changes.

Abolition of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions

For new tenancies, Section 21 will be abolished, and landlords can only terminate using the expanded grounds under Section 8.

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donnell-bailey

Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.