Renters reform bill
In this week’s article, we will look at the Renters reform bill, what the key points are, when it will come into force and what it means for you.
What is the Renters reform bill?
The renters reform bill, is a new bill which was introduced to parliament on 17 May 2023.
The UK government hopes that the new bill will help fix the private rental sector and “bring in a better deal for renters”.
It will try to address some of the common issues face by tenants in order to create a “fairer” relationship between landlord and tenant.
When will the new bill come into force?
It is important to note that the renters reform bill has only been introduced to parliament at this stage. It has not yet become law.
We do not know exactly when the bill will come into force.
However, it will take some time to go through parliament. Then there will likely be a grace period before it applies to new letting agreements. Furthermore, it is possible that there will be an additional grace period before it applies to existing tenancies.
So we can assume that the bill will likely come into effect at some point in 2024 or 2025.
No more fixed term contracts
One of the key changes is that fixed, long term contracts will no longer exist.
Instead, every tenancy will work on a rolling basis.
The idea behind this is to give tenants more flexibility. This could be beneficial for renters if they wish to leave a property but still have a long time left on their contract.
It could also benefit tenants as they would no longer have to commit to a property for a fixed term, usually 12 months or more.
Finally, this could also benefit tenants in that if they want to stay at a property, they will have more security. This is because landlords can’t simply say that they are not renewing the contract anymore. Landlords will have to give notice to tenants and ask them to leave.
Which leads us on to the next big change.
No more section 21 – no fault evictions
The bill will seek to abolish section 21 no fault evictions. This will effectively make it much harder for landlord to evict tenants.
Landlords will have to provide valid reasons to evict tenants such as they wish to sell the property, or move into the property.
Landlords will still be able to evict tenants where there is fault such as repeat rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.
Big changes are also coming to rent increases.
The renter reform bill will only allow landlords to increase rent once a year.
For many landlords this shouldn’t really be a problem as most landlords would not normally increase the rent more than once a year anyway. However, it is seen as being a bit controversial as it does take away the power & control of the landlord over a property which they own.
Furthermore, tenants will now be allowed to challenge and appeal against rent increases which they deem to be unfair.
This is designed so that landlords cannot raise the rent above the market price. Or at least if they try, the tenant can appeal against this.
Again, this shouldn’t really be a be problem for most decent landlords as most wouldn’t increase the rent excessively above the market value anyway.
Privately rented property portal
This is another controversial measure that the government will look to bring in.
The government will seek to create an online portal where all private landlords will have to register. Effectively this will be an online database where all landlords will be listed.
The main benefit of this is to give the government a list of every landlord in the country. This could help them with licences. But they could also cross reference to ensure that all landlords are declaring their rental income.
However, the portal will also allow tenants to complain about landlords such that other renters can read the reviews and make a more informed decision before moving into a landlords property.
The controversial part is that it is very possible that landlords will have to pay an annual fee to be registered on this portal.
However, the portal will not allow a database of tenants where landlords can complain about them.
The new bill will give tenants the right to request a pet in the property. Landlords must consider this request and must not refuse it unreasonably.
We hope that that you have found this article useful. If you have any questions on the renters reform bill and how it may affect you, contact us today.