What do proposed Government Reforms mean for Landlords?

The Government recently published proposals to make changes to the private rented sector. What does that mean for landlords?

The Government's wide-ranging proposals are looking to reform the private rented sector as part of their "Leveling Up" agenda in an attempt to create a fairer rental sector.

Why are the changes being considered?

The government believes that the private rental sector needs to be reformed in order to improve the quality, affordability and fairness of privately rented housing.   

What are the proposed changes?

A 12-point plan of action outlines the key areas the government hopes to alter, which is likely to happen when the Renters Reform Bill is passed. Listed below are some of the most important changes:

  • Abolish ‘no fault’ evictions so that a tenancy will only end if the tenant ends it or the landlord has a valid ground for possession.
  • Fixed-term contracts will be replaced with periodic tenancies introducing the notion of indefinite tenancies.
  • Reform grounds for possession to make sure that landlords have effective means to gain possession of their properties when necessary.
  • Rent increases only allowed once a year, end of the rent review clauses and improve tenants’ ability to challenge excessive rent increases through the First-Tier Tribunal.
  • Strengthen tenants’ ability to hold their landlord to account to provide resolutions to disputes.
  • Introduce a new Property Portal to make sure that tenants, landlords and local councils can have the information they need.
  • Legislation to make it illegal for landlords or agents to have blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.
  • Give tenants the right to request a pet in their property, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse.

More detailed information regarding the government's proposals can be found here.

When are the changes likely to happen?

Given that these changes would need to pass through various stages in Parliament, the earliest implementation date would be 2024 and the most likely in 2025.

What is the likely impact on landlords?

Landlords will only be impacted when these changes become law. The proposals will need to be debated in parliament and so may be adjusted along the way.   At the point it becomes law, landlords (or their agents) will need to get to grips with the wide-ranging implications of the new legal framework.  This is likely to involve implementing changes to their tenancy agreements and procedures to comply with new laws. 

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