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Rental Reform White Paper…what’s going to change?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022 by Nigel Fitzakerley

The government last week released its long-awaited Rental Reform White Paper, which sets out some major changes to the rental industry.

I thought I’d share with you the major plans announced and our thoughts on these:

  • Abolishing Section 21 evictions – which allow landlords to terminate tenancies without any given reason.  Our thoughts: The majority of reasons we see landlords looking to gain possession of their property relates to either rental arrears or the landlord looking to sell, therefore we don’t this as a major change.
  • Applying a Decent Homes Standard to rental properties means homes must be free from serious health and safety hazards, and landlords must keep homes in a good state of repair.  Our thoughts: This looks like a strengthening of the current laws around a property being fit for habitation.  In over 15 years of being a landlord and agent we’ve had a handful of times a local council has been involved in the condition of a property, hopefully, this will only affect rogue landlords.
  • Introducing a housing ombudsman covering landlords and providing redress for tenants to resolve disputes.  Our thoughts: This is potentially to move some issues out of the court system and save money for all parties.
  • Introducing a Property Portal to help landlords understand their obligations.  Our thoughts: This can only be positive for the wider sector but as a letting agent hopefully we keep you updated anyway!

Other measures include:

  • Bans on not renting to families with children or on benefits – we’ve never done this, so won’t affect us.
  • Tenants to be repaid rent for houses below the decent homes standard – again we’d hope to never have a circumstance where this occurs.
  • Giving tenants the right to request a pet – the landlord must consider it and cannot unreasonably refuse – again this is something we currently do.
  • All tenants are to be moved onto periodic tenancies, meaning they can leave poor quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when circumstances change.  A tenancy will only end if a tenant ends or a landlord has a valid reason, as defined in law – Normally we sign people onto a 12-month tenancy and then allow it to become periodic, we very rarely have tenants asking to leave early.
  • Doubling of notice periods for rent increases and giving tenants stronger powers to challenge them if unjustified. – All our rental increases are justified through rental comparables and tenants are always given the correct notice.
  • Giving councils stronger powers to tackle the worst offenders and increasing fines – this hopefully won’t affect any of our landlords!

At the moment the government is consulting on all these matters but we thought we’d give you a heads up on the potential changes in the property sector over the next few years.

Sorry about the overload of information but it’s our job to PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY!!

For any sales, lettings or refurb help:

  • Contact us today by phone or email to move your property to us.
  • We’ll contact your letting agent to ensure a seamless tenant transfer, including the deposit, keys and all paperwork.
  • We’ll contact your tenant to resolve any rent, maintenance or refurbishment issues you have, arranging a property visit if required.
  • We’ll begin the process of maximising your income and wealth.
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