0:02 AM, 5th June 2023, About 6 months ago 2
The Renters (Reform) Bill is the primary concern for letting agents with a flood of worried calls to an industry hotline, a webinar reveals.
The event was co-hosted by HF Assist, a dedicated support service for agents, and PayProp, a leading client accounting platform.
Attendees were told that the new Bill surpasses concerns about eviction notice periods for Section 8 and Section 21.
The volume of calls also outnumbered those about right-to-rent checks, securing access for property inspections, maintenance and viewings.
The webinar is part of a series of surgeries aimed at providing property professionals with the opportunity to ask industry experts questions related to their businesses, including compliance issues and understanding new developments within the private rented sector.
HF Assist advisor Julie Ford addressed attendees’ worries about the Renters (Reform) Bill, reassuring them that although Section 21 evictions would be abolished, they remain permissible for now, and it is unclear how quickly the legislation would be implemented once the bill becomes law.
Neil Cobbold, the managing director of PayProp UK, further explained that when Section 21 is abolished, other grounds for evictions will be strengthened, such as repossessing a property for sale or if close family members need to move in.
Mike Morgan, PRS membership and resolution lead, compared the concerns over the bill to those he witnessed when new private rented sector legislation was introduced in Wales.
Then, the HF Assist helpline experienced a surge in calls to help agents comply with the new rules.
The webinar also addressed other concerns, such as compulsory pet insurance, landlord redress membership, non-purpose-built student lets and transitioning to periodic tenancies.
Mr Cobbold emphasised the importance of more details from the government and engaging property professionals in the discussion as the bill progresses through the parliamentary process.
He said this engagement will be crucial to ensuring that the reforms benefit all parties involved.
Mr Cobbold added: “It was great to have such an engaged audience on the lettings surgery webinar, but it was clear that they had big questions over the Renters (Reform) Bill.
“While there aren’t many surprises for the industry, as the measures were already included in the 2022 Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, the lack of detail around how and when these measures will be implemented is a real worry for the agents.
“As an industry, we need to see more details from the government and be part of the discussion as the bill goes through the parliamentary process.
“A high level of engagement with property professionals will be key to ensuring these reforms deliver to the benefit of all parties.”