Renters’ Reform Bill publication – the property sector reacts

Renters’ Reform Bill publication – the property sector reacts

10:06 AM, 17th May 2023, About 9 months ago 6

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The unveiling of the long-awaited Renters’ Reform Bill has led to a strong reaction from the property sector.

The legislation, which was first promised in 2019, will see the end of section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.

And landlords will be able to recover their properties more easily from anti-social tenants.

The Bill also protects landlords by enabling repossession when they want to sell their property, move in a close family member, or when tenants do not pay rent.

Notice periods will also be reduced where tenants have been irresponsible – for example breaching their tenancy agreement or causing damage to the property.

However, tenants will also now get the legal right to have a pet in their rented home – and a landlord cannot reasonably refuse a request.

For more details about what is in the Renters’ Reform Bill, the Property118 team has put together a useful guide.

 

NRLA – the legislation ‘lacks detail’

Among the first to question the intent of the Bill, was the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) which says the legislation ‘lacks detail’.

The NRLA’s chief executive, Ben Beadle, 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.”

He added: “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.

“Ministers must develop a plan to improve the speed and efficiency with which the courts process possession claims.

“Although the Government has accepted NRLA calls to digitise cases, staff numbers need to increase in the court system as well to meet the needs of these reforms.

“Likewise, the Government must recognise the serious concerns of landlords letting to students about open ended tenancies.

“Without the ability to plan around the academic year, students will have no certainty that properties will be available to rent when they need them.

“We will continue to work with the Government, MPs and Peers to ensure the Bill workable and fair to both responsible landlords and tenants.”

 

Propertymark – Bill brings clarity to agents and landlords

Timothy Douglas, the head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “Reforms to the private rented sector in England have been long awaited and the Bill will bring much needed clarity to letting agents, their landlords and tenants.

“Propertymark will support the UK Government to ensure the specific details work in practice for those on the ground, whilst providing both security and fairness for both parties of the rental agreement.

“It is also important implementation is well planned and managed as these reforms are significant for the sector.”

 

Shelter – Bill brings fairer housing

Polly Neate, the chief executive of Shelter, said: “The millions of people renting in England are at last one step closer to fairer, more secure housing.

“The Renters’ Reform Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally fix private renting.

“A strong bill would be a gamechanger, meaning tenants can live without fear their homes could make them sick, families feel able to put down roots in their communities, and worries about being unfairly evicted are a thing of the past.

“For far too long, Shelter’s emergency advisers have helped renters facing anguish and uncertainty, paying sky-high rents in return for poor living conditions, with no protection or security if they complain.

“The Renters’ Reform Bill must truly deliver change for renters when it becomes law, and it should be as strong as possible with every loophole closed, so that no renter can be unfairly evicted.

“The government must keep renters at the forefront to make sure this bill has the teeth needed for real change.”

 

StuRents – Students will be penalised

Tom Walker, the co-founder at StuRents, said: “The proposed ban on fixed-term tenancies – a move that will no doubt be welcomed by most private tenants – could actually penalise students amid an already heightened rental crisis in many cities.

“Ironically, students may suffer as movement between accommodation from one year to the next is hampered by a reduction in available properties to choose from.

“We are firm believers that choice is a critical factor in driving improvements to the quality of rental properties — with poor quality accommodation typically losing out to higher quality — so consider this unintended consequence a significant cause for concern.

“As it stands, the prevalence of fixed term tenancies in student accommodation helps align the dates from which all properties can be marketed for the next academic year.

“Property managers know months in advance when properties will be vacated, meaning all accommodation is made available on property portals around the same time, facilitating a mass clearing process that rewards good quality properties with excess enquiries and provides students with an abundance of choice.

“If the Renters’ Reform Bill fails to preserve fixed term tenancies for students, property managers may find their student HMO portfolio slipping out of kilter with the underlying academic cycle, reducing choice for students and increasing the number of vacant properties at a time when many cities are suffering a severe shortage of affordable accommodation.”

 

MoneySavingExpert.com – Welcome to the mandatory Ombudsman

Martin Lewis, the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “We have long needed a statutory single private rental Ombudsman – so I’m pleased to see it in the legislative plans.

“After all, disputes are often between two individuals – landlord and tenant – rather than between companies, so it can be very personal and difficult to sort.

“Crucially, it won’t be voluntary, all private landlords will be required to join the Ombudsman, and it will have legal authority to compel apologies, take remedial action and pay compensation.”

 

Generation Rent – new law will boost communication

Dan Wilson Craw, the acting director of Generation Rent, said: “The Renters’ Reform Bill is a huge opportunity to improve the lives of the 11 million people who now rent from private landlords in England.

“Arbitrary Section 21 evictions make it impossible for tenants to put down roots and report problems about their home with confidence.

“Abolishing them will take away much of the stress of renting and improve communication and trust between tenants and landlords.

“The new Property Portal and Ombudsman have the potential to make it much harder for criminal landlords to operate.”

 

Battersea Cats and Dogs Home – tenants can share the joy

Michael Webb, the head of policy and public affairs at Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, said: “Tenants being unable to find anywhere to rent with their pet is sadly one of the most common reasons people bring their animals to Battersea.

“Not only will this Bill bring us one step closer to significantly reducing the number of dogs and cats we see being needlessly separated from their owners, it will also open up the many joys of pet ownership to millions of renters in the future.

“As this Bill now begins its journey through Parliament, we look forward to continuing to work with the Housing department, tenants and landlords to help ensure a fairer rental sector for pets and people alike.”

 

Ringley Group – PRS needs more competition

Mary-Anne Bowring, the managing director of Ringley Group, said: “On the face of it the Renters’ Reform Bill seems to strike a good balance between strengthening rights for tenants while still giving landlords enough downside protection.

“Key to making the private rental market work for consumers is competition, and that means welcoming the creation of purpose-built, professionally managed rental housing like what exists in much of America and Europe, which will help drive up standards by forcing buy-to-let landlords to up their game.”

 

IMMO – Who will pay for upgrades?

Samantha Kempe, the co-founder at IMMO (Europe’s first technology-led residential real estate platform), said: “The private rented sector has the oldest homes of any tenure in the UK and this helps explain why it has some of the worst quality housing, with one-in-four privately rented properties in England alone judged to be non-decent according to the English Housing Survey.

“Applying the Decent Homes Standard to the PRS for the first time is undoubtedly a positive move but the big question that remains unanswered is how will homes that are non-decent be upgraded? And who will pay for this?

“The answer clearly isn’t buy-to-let landlords, who are already struggling with a weight of regulatory and tax changes, and it is unlikely to be the government given the state of public finances.”

 

Bond Land – We need to tackle supply issues

Joshua Bond, the founder and managing director at Bond Land, said: “Poor conditions for renters will only be made more extreme for as long as we fail to tackle the supply-demand imbalance plaguing our housing market, with a lack of available properties allowing landlords to rent out substandard homes for extortionate prices.

“With the landlord exodus only expected to continue, reducing the amount of rental homes on the market, delivering better outcomes for renters must include commitments to driving up supply by matching these reforms with a wholesale rethink of our broken planning system.”


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Comments

Reluctant Landlord

13:56 PM, 17th May 2023, About 9 months ago

still struggling to find anywhere that has published this latest info. Parliament site doesn't even list it on todays schedule for anything!

Where is the official publication - anyone know???

Crouchender

14:22 PM, 17th May 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 17/05/2023 - 13:56
Its on the order papers today just waiting for Gove to present then I think the links to bill become live

URGENT QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS
12.30pm
Urgent Question:
„ To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade if she will make a statement on
the future of the UK car industry (Justin Madders)
Ministerial Statement, including on:
„ Bus Funding (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Roads and Local Transport)
PRESENTATION OF BILLS
No debate (Standing Order No. 57)
„ Renters (Reform) Bill
Michael Gove
Bill to make provision changing the law about rented homes, including provision
abolishing fixed term assured tenancies and assured shorthold tenancies; imposing
obligations on landlords and others in relation to rented homes and temporary and
supported accommodation; and for connected purposes.
BUSINESS OF THE DAY
1. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (REGULATION AND WORKERS’ RIGHTS): TEN MINUTE RULE
MOTION
Up to 20 minutes (Standing Order No. 23)
Mick Whitley
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to regulate the use of artificial intelligence
technologies in the workplace; to make provision about workers’ and trade union rights in
relation to the use of artificial intelligence technologies; and for connected purposes.
Notes:
The Member moving and a Member opposing this Motion may each speak for up to 10 minutes

Barbaracus

14:47 PM, 17th May 2023, About 9 months ago

Bill hasn't altered from the White Paper as far as I can see.

https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3462

Helen Morley

9:40 AM, 18th May 2023, About 9 months ago

So what happens with leasehold properties, with mortgages and with insurances in which there is a requirement for any tenancy to be an AST, and sometimes state that it must last for no longer than 6-12 months? Will they all have to be revised?

Helen

20:35 PM, 18th May 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Helen Morley at 18/05/2023 - 09:40
Also with properties with a head lease which prevents pets in the building.

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