What is the Rental Reform Bill?

The Renters (Reform) Bill sets out the government’s plans to fundamentally reform the private rented sector (PRS) and level up housing quality.

The proposed reforms commit to “bring in a better deal for renters” and marks  “the biggest shake-up of the private rented sector in 30 years”.

But what does it really mean for landlords and tenants. Here are the main points

1. Section 21 “no fault” evictions to be abolished

The Bill confirms plans to abolish Section 21 – a process that enables private landlords to repossess their properties. Instead, landlords will only be able to evict a tenant under reasonable circumstances.

2. A single system of periodic tenancies

The Bill confirms the government’s ambition to simplify existing tenancy structures, by moving all Assured Shorthold Tenancies onto a single system of periodic tenancies.

3. Notice periods for rent increases to be doubled

In a move to combat the cost of living crisis, rent increases will be limited to once per year and the minimum notice landlords must provide of any change in rent will be increased to two months, according to last year’s white paper.

4. Tenants given more rights to keep pets in properties

The Renters (Reform) Bill outlines that tenants can request permission to pet in their home and that landlords cannot unreasonably withhold consent.

5. A new ombudsman covering all private landlords

Landlords “may” be required to join a government-approved ombudsman covering all private landlords who rent out property in England – regardless of whether they use a letting agent.

6. New Property Portal for private landlords and tenants

A new digital Property Portal will be introduced to “provide a single ‘front door’ to help landlords understand, and demonstrate compliance with their legal requirements”.

Whilst the reform is good in parts the NRLA argues it lacks detail to be of real value for landlords and tenants as Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “Responsible landlords need to be confident that when Section 21 ends, where they have a legitimate reason, they will be able to repossess their properties as quickly as possible. Without this assurance, the Bill will only exacerbate the rental housing supply crisis many tenants now face.

“Whilst we welcome the Government’s pledge to ensure landlords can effectively recover properties from anti-social tenants and those failing to pay rent, more detail is needed if the Bill is going to work as intended.

If you’d like to read the Bill in its entirety, please click here to access it.

Source NRLA and Goodlord 16.05.23