In February 2023, we looked at the Government’s white paper which set out 12 proposals on how to make the private rental sector fairer to landlord and tenants. Following on from the governments white paper, landlords and tenants have been waiting for the much anticipated first draft of the Renters (Reform) Bill, introduced to Parliament on the 17th May 2023.
The Bill is seen as the ‘biggest shake up’ in the private rental sector in over 30 years and will fundamentally change the landlord and tenant relationship. This article looks at the key changes for both landlord and tenants, which are set out below:
- Presently, landlords who want to end a statutory/periodic tenancy can issue a section 21 notice to tenants providing them with two months’ notice to leave. The new bill, if passed, will abolish the section 21 ‘no fault ‘evictions and remove fixed term tenancies creating periodic tenancies with no end date.
Tenants will be able to end their tenancy by giving two months’ notice. Landlords must evidence a valid ground for possession.
- Enhanced grounds for landlords to recover their property in the below circumstance:
I. they wish to sell their property
II. the landlord or their close family member wishes to move into the property
III. the landlord seeks possession to redevelop
IV. the tenant is in repeated rent arrears (three separate instances of at least 2 months of arrears over a three year period)
V. the tenants anti-social behaviour
(grounds I-III cannot be used within the first six months of the tenancy).
- To give tenants the right to request a pet in the property. Such permission cannot be unreasonably withheld by landlords; however, landlords will be able to oblige tenants to take out pet insurance to insure against damage to their property.
- Ensure that landlords can increase rent by serving a statutory notice, however, such increase must be in line with the market rent, whilst allowing tenants to challenge rent increase designed to be excessively high through the First-tier tribunal.
- The introduction of a new Private Rented Sector Ombudsman which will be designed to provide ‘fair, impartial and binding resolution.’
- The creation of a new rented property portal for the private sector. The aim is to provide prospective tenants with more information on their landlords before entering into a tenancy agreement but also Landlords will need show they have a complied with their obligations to be part of the portal.
The Bill is only it it’s infancy and will no doubt be subject to change and amendments as it progresses its journey through Parliament.
For advice relating to issues of Landlord and Tenants, please contact our Lee Pashen on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0345 241 3100.
This article is written as a general guide and should not be taken as containing legal advice.