Following announcements in the media last week, you may have seen that the long anticipated Renters (Reform) Bill has been introduced to Parliament.
What is the Government proposing?
We may still see some amendments to the draft Bill but, at present, some of the proposals are:
Removing Section 21 notices
At present, Section 21 notices enable private landlords to repossess their properties from assured shorthold tenancy tenants without grounds for possession. While the Bill proposes the removal of Section 21 notices, importantly, it states that landlords will still be able to regain possession where there are serious or repeat rent arrears, serious anti-social behaviour or the landlord wishes to sell or move back into the property (including close relatives).
Introduction of periodic tenancies instead of fixed terms
Tenancies will be changed to a simpler structure, where they will run on a ‘rolling’ basis until notice is served. Landlords will be able to increase rents, in line with the market price, on an annual basis by serving a Section 13 notice.
Introduction of a new Ombudsman for private landlords and a Property Portal
Landlords may be required to join an impartial redress system, for situations where tenant complaints cannot be resolved directly. A Property Portal is also being proposed, to aid landlords in demonstrating compliance with property safety standards.
Allow tenants to request a pet
Landlords will be required to consider requests for pets and permit them unless there is justification to decline. However, landlords can also ask tenants to take out pet insurance to protect the property against damage.
What happens next?
At present the Bill is just draft legislation. It must still go through several readings in the House of Commons and House of Lords, where the contents will be discussed and potentially amended, before receiving royal assent and becoming law. This whole process is anticipated to take around a year, with the new legislation expected to come into force in early 2024. We would also hope that any fundamental changes are permitted a period of implementation once the legislation is passed.
There is still some way to go before the final proposals become legislation and, alongside the Government's additional plans to increase the minimum Energy Performace Certificate (EPC) rating there's never been a more critical time to ensure that you use a trusted estate agent to help manage your investment. Our lettings team are dedicated to helping you stay compliant with the latest legislation and providing you with the support you need.
The importance of a good letting agent
Ultimately, tenants want a great place to live and are entitled to feel secure and live in a property that is up to standard. Landlords need to protect their investments and their property. Using the right agent will mean that tenants will only ever find property of a good standard and equally reputable landlords. As a landlord, using a letting agent means you will have the opportunity to let your property to reliable tenants thoroughly checked with references and with as many other letting management facilities as you require. So it’s in both parties interests to use a letting agent, making letting and renting a seamless and enjoyable process. Not to mention reducing the worries and risks for renters and landlords in light of the new reforms.
The lettings market in Palmers Green and Southagte remains robust, with unprecedented demand resulting in higher rents, longer tenancies, a wider choice of applicants and decreased void periods. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact our experianced team on 020 8882 7888.
Date: 24 May 2023