Navigating The Changes: A closer look at the Renters Reform Bill

PUBLISHED: 14th Nov 2023

What is the Renters Reform Bill?

The Renters Reform Bill is a legislative initiative aimed at reshaping the rental landscape in the UK, emphasising increased rights and protections for tenants. This bill, currently navigating the committee stage in the House of Commons, is poised to bring about significant changes to the existing framework governing landlord-tenant relationships.

What is Changing (Key Points)

a) Scrapping Section 21:
The government is set to eliminate Section 21, a notorious provision that allowed landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason. This move is designed to offer tenants greater protection, particularly those facing eviction for requesting necessary property maintenance.

b) Section 8 Expansion:
Section 8, the legal process for possession, will undergo expansion, providing landlords with additional grounds for eviction. This includes scenarios such as selling the property or moving in a family member.

c) Extended Notice Periods:
Notice periods for ending a tenancy will be extended, with significant increases, especially for circumstances like selling or repossessing a property. The proposed timeline for such cases is around three months.

d) Pet Permission:
Under the new bill, tenants will have the right to request permission to keep a pet. Landlords will be unable to unreasonably withhold this permission, although the exact criteria for reasonability remain somewhat vague.

e) Landlord Ombudsman and Property Compliance Portal:
The introduction of a landlord ombudsman and property compliance portal aims to streamline property compliance checks. However, this service will require membership and maintenance for access. Property management firms like Newton Huxley may assist landlords in fulfilling these requirements.

Should Landlords be Worried?

In evaluating the impact on landlords, it appears that concerns may be somewhat alleviated:

Notable Statistics:
Data reveals that out of all Section 21 notices served over the past three years, only 0.5% were for removing problematic tenants. Additionally, the government’s proposed changes to Section 8, including considerations for anti-social behaviour, may cover most scenarios previously addressed by Section 21.

Addressing Common Reasons for Eviction:
The majority of Section 21 notices were issued for reasons such as selling the property, moving in a family member, or refurbishing for increased rental yield. The amended Section 8 is anticipated to cover these scenarios, providing landlords with legal grounds for eviction.

Refurbishment Provision:
While the current proposed bill may not explicitly cover refurbishment-related evictions, it is expected that provisions for essential refurbishments may be addressed in subsequent stages. Newton Huxley are prepared to guide landlords through potential refurbishment decisions based on predicted return on investment.

In conclusion, the Renters Reform Bill presents a notable shift in favour of tenant rights, but proactive management and adherence to the evolving legal landscape can empower landlords to navigate these changes effectively.

Consultation for Landlords on the Renters Reform Bill: Enhancing Your Investment

Navigating the intricacies of the Renters Reform Bill can be a daunting task for landlords. To provide support during this transformative period, the team at Newton Huxley is offering consultation services tailored to the evolving legal landscape. Our experienced property management team is well-versed in the nuances of the bill, ensuring that landlords are informed about the changes and equipped to make strategic decisions. From understanding the amended Section 8 grounds for eviction to exploring opportunities for property enhancement, we aim to guide landlords through every aspect of the reform. By collaborating with Newton Huxley, landlords can proactively assess their investment portfolios, making informed decisions that not only comply with the new regulations but also enhance the overall return on their investment. Embrace the future of property management with confidence, backed by our expertise and commitment to your success.

Len Taylor MARLA our Co-Founder and Head of Lettings is always on hand to advise landlords on how to get the most out of letting their property.
07885 206 631.

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