Since 2019, property professionals have been waiting with bated breath for an update on the Renters’ Reform Bill. Announced over four years ago, the bill promised a fairer rental sector for the UK, as well as major changes to tenant’s rights and the abolition of section 21. Today, it will finally be introduced to Parliament.
“Our new laws will support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants while delivering our manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions. This will ensure that everyone can live somewhere which is decent, safe and secure—a place they’re truly proud to call home,” announced Housing Secretary Michael Gove.
Will the bill deliver on its promises? What’s changing, and how could it affect you? Here’s everything you need to know.
Goodbye, Section 21
The new renters’ reform bill includes a ban on Section 21 no-fault evictions. Landlords will be required by law to give a reason for the eviction. Accepted reasons include the landlord wishing to sell their property or move a family member into the home. If tenants fail to pay their rent or breach the tenancy agreement in any way, landlords retain the right to evict them.
New rights for tenants
If the Renters’ Reform Bill passes through Parliament, the private rental sector will become subject to much stricter regulation. Not only will it be illegal for landlords to place blanket bans on tenants who receive benefits or have children, but tenants will also have the right to request a pet in their homes. Landlords can insist on insurance to cover any possible damages, but it will be a lot harder for them to deny pets altogether.
Additionally, private landlords will become subject to the Decent Homes Standard for the first time. The Decent Homes Standard requires properties to be free of any serious hazards to the tenant’s health and safety. The home should be well maintained, clean and operate properly with all the necessary utilities (electricity, water, heat).
Speedier settlements for landlords
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can be a huge problem for landlords. Luckily, under the Renters’ Reform Bill, landlords now have the power to evict problematic tenants faster.
The Government has promised that alongside the bill, they will be digitising the court process in order to achieve outcomes quicker than ever. A new ombudsman could also be in the works to help settle disputes easier and at a lower cost. Registering with the ombudsman will be a requirement for all private landlords.
Information is power, and you’re getting more of it
A new digital property portal will give landlords and tenants access to a wealth of information related to their tenancy and property. Complex, ever-changing legislation has proven difficult for property professionals over the years. The database promises to offer a single source of truth from which everyone can find the answers they need.
This is just the beginning…
The Renters’ Reform Bill will mean major changes to the property sector. With details yet to be ironed out in Parliament and more updates to come, we’ll be here every step of the way to help you keep your finger on the pulse.