At Long Last and Hot Off the Press! Publication of the Renters’ Reform Bill
The long-awaited Renters’ Reform Bill was finally published today.
On launching the Bill, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “Our new laws will support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants, while delivering our manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 evictions.”
Good News for Landlords!
As reported earlier, it was announced only last week that the draft legislation (due for some four years now) was further delayed by ‘procedural issues’ (widely considered to be back-bencher opposition).
The Bill protects over two million landlords, making it easier for them to recover properties when they need to so that they can still; sell their property if they want to, move in a close family member, or when tenants wilfully do not pay rent. Notice periods will also be reduced where tenants have been irresponsible – for example, causing damage to the property.
The Bill seeks to strengthen powers to evict anti-social tenants by broadening the disruptive and harmful activities that can lead to eviction and making it quicker to evict a tenant acting anti-socially.
To ensure the new tenancy systems works for landlords and tenants, it will be introduced alongside a reformed Court process. For the minority of evictions that do end up in the courts, more of the process will be digitised, thereby reducing delays.
The Bill abolishes fixed term tenancy agreements and landlords will only be able to agree to a rolling periodic tenancy. Rent increases cannot be included as a clause in the tenancy agreement and can only be reviewed under the proposed legislation. There will be financial penalties for non-compliance.
A new Ombudsman will provide quicker and cheaper resolutions to disputes, while a new digital Property Portal will enable landlords to understand their obligations and help tenants make better decisions when signing a new tenancy agreement.
When will the Bill be introduced?
Despite the lengthy wait for the Bill’s publication, final legislation is not near. The Bill will first need to pass through Parliament before receiving Royal Assent.
What’s the Feedback?
Too early to say and further updates on specific and relevant parts of the Bill will be issued to assist all of our Clients who will be affected by the changes to not only ensure compliance but also reassurance.
Specifically, we will be publishing articles on what the Bill means for Student Accommodation Landlords and the eviction process once University courses have ended.
As has been the case since day one, the real concern is that the driving forces behind the Bill seem to be focussing on a few ‘rotten apple’ landlords as a means of bringing about change which, at first glance, appears to be very pro-tenant.
For now, the Bill itself can accessed using the following link Renters (Reform) Bill – Parliamentary Bills – UK Parliament.
Dated 17 May 2023