Prepare your let for the Renters Reform Bill



Changes are coming to the way you let. Next year, the Renters (Reform) Bill is expected to be passed, which will affect most rental properties in England.

Although the details are still being finalised, here’s what we know so far about what’s expected to make it into the Bill.

Who will the Renters (Reform) Bill affect?

All landlords in England will be affected by at least some of the Bill. However, with some aspects still being finalised, it’s not yet known how some of the rules apply to landlords of students lets and HMOs.

Should I sell my property before the Renters (Reform) Bill becomes law?

With the highest rental income and best selection of tenants this country has ever seen, it would be a mistake to sell now.

If you decide to sell in the future, the Bill will allow you to seek possession on this basis. There will also be strengthened grounds for rent arrears and anti-social behaviour.

With the Section 21 notice abolished, how will I evict tenants?

Since only 6% of tenants are evicted this way anyway, the end of section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions shouldn’t affect landlords.

There will be strengthened grounds for possession and improve court processes, so landlords can quickly and effectively regain access to their properties when a tenant fails to meet their obligations.

Do we have a Renters (Reform) Bill timetable yet?

Although timings for when this Bill will make its way into law are unclear, it’s unlikely it’ll be in force any time soon as there will need to be a transitory period for existing tenancies.

It is understood that once Royal Assent is received, there would be a lead in time of 6 months for new tenancies and a further year for existing tenancies.

Will landlords have to allow tenants to have pets?

Although landlords can’t unreasonably refuse requests from tenants for pets, in an amendment to the Tenant Fees Act 2019, landlords can insist that the tenant obtains pet damage insurance, which means they’re not automatically compelled to allow a pet.

Furthermore, this won’t apply to properties where superior leases prohibit pets (such as leasehold flats).

Do we know everything that’s going to be in the Bill yet?

With so much still to be clarified – including The Decent Homes Standard, blanket bans, student lets and local authority enforcement – we’re a long way from knowing everything that will make it into the Bill.

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