Why don’t we talk about the Renters Reform Bill? As you may or may not know, the bill was passed by Parliament in 2022 and came into effect in June 2023.
It aims to bring about changes in the private rented sector to improve the experiences of both landlords and tenants and ensure equal protection for both parties. The bill introduces several key changes that will affect landlords in the near future.
What is the renters reform bill?
The renters reform bill was introduced to Parliament on 17 March 2023 and is a bill that is looking to change the private rented sector for both landlords and tenants. The aim of the bill is to bring about a higher level of housing quality.
The changes in the bill aim to make the letting process fairer and safer by abolishing section 21, “no-fault” evictions and introducing a Private Rented Sector Ombudsman.
Instead of landlords being able to repossess their property at a whim, tenants will be provided with more security and can only be evicted from the property under reasonable circumstances.
Consequently, tenants will be able to challenge unfair decisions made by landlords, and both parties will have to go through a third party when settling disputes.
Let’s take a look at the changes in more detail.
Renters Reform Bill Changes:
Change can be nerve-wracking in any circumstance, let alone when there are changes to any legislation; let’s delve into the relevant changes to the renters reform bill for you as landlords.
Section 21 – ‘no fault’:
One of the bill’s main changes is the abolition of Section 21 “no-fault” evictions. This change creates a simpler tenancy structure, provides tenants with more security, and empowers them to challenge unfair rent increases.
Comprehensive Possession Grounds:
The bill also introduces more comprehensive possession grounds. This means landlords will be free to move close family members into their property or sell the property if they wish. This change also makes it easier for landlords to repossess properties when tenants are at fault, such as in cases of anti-social behaviour or rent arrears.
No More ‘Backdoor’ Evictions:
To protect tenants against “backdoor” evictions, the bill allows tenants to appeal high rent increases designed to force them out of the leasing agreement.
Landlords will still be able to increase rent prices, but such increases will need to be assessed by an independent tribunal. The bill wants to keep things fair, which is always a great sign!
Private Rented Sector Ombudsman:
Further to the aforementioned changes, the Renters Reform Bill will be introducing a new Private Rented Sector Ombudsman. I know, big word, right?
This ombudsman will be acting as a mediator between landlords and tenants to provide fair and impartial resolutions to any disputes that may arise. The aim is to resolve issues more quickly and cost-effectively, reducing the anxiety that is usually associated with settling disputes.
Additionally, the bill introduces a Privately Rented Property Portal, which will serve as a valuable resource for both landlords and tenants. It will provide information on their legal obligations when leasing out properties, giving them a better understanding of their position and increasing their confidence.
Finally, the bill allows tenants to request permission to have pets on the property without landlords automatically refusing. Landlords will have the option to require pet insurance to cover any potential damage caused by the pets, providing them with protection.
It’s clear that the bill is meant to bring about positive changes for landlords too! Equally, if you’re a landlord and wish to learn more about landlord insurance, explore here.