Guide to the Renters Reform Bill
The Government have published their draft of the Renters Reform Bill which is in line with our expectations. Whilst the bill is still yet to pass through several parliamentary processes before it becomes law in 2024, it is still worthy of some attention.
The bill aims to enhance tenant rights, improve rental standards, and provide a fairer balance between landlords and tenants. In this article, we have done the hard work for you and from the 89 pages of the bill we have drawn out the 5 key highlights.
The Abolition of Assured Shorthold Tenancy:
The most common type of tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Under the Renters Reform Bill this will be replaced by an open-ended, month-to-month agreement, known as a periodic tenancy. These are already commonplace, when the tenancy rolls on at the end of the initial term, or for properties which are offered only on a short-let basis.
Abolition of Section 21 Notices:
The Renters Reform Bill proposes to abolish Section 21 notices, also known as “no-fault” evictions. If passed, this change would prevent landlords from evicting tenants without a specific reason, granting more security and stability to renters. Property owners will still be able to regain possession based on specific circumstances or grounds for possession.
Another significant aspect of the bill is the introduction of lifetime deposits. This reform intends to reduce financial burdens on tenants by allowing them to transfer their deposits between properties, rather than having to pay a new deposit each time they move. As we use approved tenancy deposit schemes already the impact on our property owners should be minimal and the reforms do not prevent property owners from having a right of recourse to the security deposit.
The reform sees a proposal for a new landlord register, whereby tenants will have access to a digital platform to gain a view of their landlord’s levels of compliance. Here at The Cotswold Letting Agency we do not foresee any challenges for our property owners who already operate to the highest levels of compliance.
Changes to Notice Periods:
Under the proposed legislation, notice periods for landlords will be standardised with the aim being to simplify the eviction process and offer greater protection to tenants. Within our management services the preparation of tenancy agreements already ensures that notice periods protect both our property owners and our tenants. Therefore we anticipate the standardisation of notice periods to have little to no effect on our tenancy agreements.
Whilst the proposed Renters Reform Bill in England represents a significant shift in the rental landscape, with implications for both tenants and property owners, we anticipate the impact on our property owners to be minimal. As part of our managed services we ensure that the advice we give is always up to date with current legislation, therefore we will ensure we have a full understanding of the abolition of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy and Section 21 notices, the introduction of lifetime deposits and the Landlord register along with changes to notice periods and any other items covered under the bill.
Want to find out more?
If you still have any unanswered questions or would just like to know more about current and potential future requirements for property owners, get in touch with Olly or Ferg, who will be only too happy to share their expert knowledge and advice.
You can always call them on 01993 684572 – or pop in to our office Monday to Friday 09.00 – 17.00 at 15 Witney Street, Burford, OX18 4SN. Or send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get straight back to you.