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Renters Reform Bill – What you need to know

11 months ago
Renters Reform Bill – What you need to know

The Renter Reform Bill is a crucial piece of
legislation aimed at addressing the challenges faced by both renters and
landlords, with the primary objective of promoting safer, fairer, and higher
quality homes in the private rental sector. Although the bill has not been
passed yet, its significance has been highlighted as a once-in-a-lifetime
change by the government. Let’s explore the reasons behind the bill’s existence
and the changes we can expect once it becomes law.

 

Reasons for the Bill’s Introduction

 

The driving force behind the Renter Reform Bill is
the continuous growth in the number of renters and landlords, which has created
a pressing need to ensure that the rental sector operates more smoothly,
safeguarding the interests of both parties involved. The government aims to
provide tenants with increased security and stability in their rental
arrangements while holding landlords accountable for maintaining higher
property standards.

 

Expected Changes under the Renter Reform Bill

 

Abolition of “No Fault” Evictions
(Section 21):
One of the major changes
expected is the abolition of Section 21 “No Fault” evictions. This
means landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants without reasonable
grounds. Valid reasons for eviction may include non-payment of rent, selling
the property, or the landlord needing the property for personal use or for
accommodating a family member.

 

Standardisation of Periodic Tenancies: The bill proposes that all new tenancies will be
on a periodic basis, allowing tenants the flexibility to give two months’
notice at any time during the tenancy. This shift from fixed-term leases aims
to provide renters with greater control over their housing arrangements.

 

Extended Notice Periods for Rent Increases: Under the proposed changes, landlords will be
required to give tenants at least two months’ notice before implementing any
rent increases. This measure is intended to offer tenants more time to
challenge unfair increases and to bring the rent review process under greater
scrutiny.

 

Enhanced Rights for Tenants with Pets: The Renter Reform Bill seeks to give tenants more
rights to keep pets in rental properties. Landlords will no longer be able to
unreasonably refuse pets, provided the tenants have appropriate insurance to
cover potential damages.

 

Establishment of a New Ombudsman: The bill aims to create a new ombudsman to
oversee all private landlords. This body would address tenant complaints and
have the authority to enforce remedies, such as compelling landlords to apologise,
provide information, take corrective actions, or offer compensation of up to
£25,000.

 

Introduction of a Central Property Portal: The government plans to establish a central
property portal that will include all rental properties. This portal will help
local authorities monitor whether rental properties meet the required standards
and serve as a tool to identify and tackle rogue landlords.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

The Renter Reform Bill
presents a transformative opportunity to revamp the private rental sector and
create a more equitable and responsible environment for both renters and
landlords. By enhancing tenant security, increasing accountability, and
promoting higher property standards, the bill aims to improve the overall
rental experience and pave the way for safer, fairer, and higher quality homes
for all. As the bill moves forward, it is likely to undergo some changes, but
its underlying mission remains crucial in shaping the future of the rental
market for generations to come.

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