Renters Reform Bill worse than feared

Renters Reform Bill worse than feared

10:26 AM, 18th May 2023, About A year ago 65

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It is only a Bill and has just been published but the Renters’ Reform Bill appears at first sight worse than many have feared. All tenancies are to become periodic, meaning landlords will have no security of income and student landlords in particular will find the tenants will not pay for the summer holidays.

One massive change is that currently section 21 notices cannot be served if the tenancy deposit has not been properly protected with an authorised scheme and the prescribed information given unless and until the deposit is returned to the tenant. That rule did not apply to Section 8 notices. Now it is proposed that except in cases of antisocial behaviour: “ the court may make an order for possession … only if the tenancy deposit is being held in accordance with an authorised scheme.”

The tenant must also have been given the Prescribed Information in the required form. So even if the ground for eviction is rent arrears, damage to the property or that the landlord wants the property back to live in himself, he may fail if the deposit paperwork is not in order.

When landlords eventually get to court tenants will be able to ambush them with a technical defence because, for example, the wrong clause number was referred to in the Prescribed Information or there was some other minor error. The safest course will be to return the deposit to the tenant which is really to add insult to injury and it will be a bold landlord who seeks a section 8 eviction without professional help. So much for Mr Gove’s statement today about being able to evict more quickly tenants who are “persistently and deliberately evading their responsibility to pay their rent”.


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Comments

Yvonne Francis

9:24 AM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by JB at 21/05/2023 - 20:08
I belive if one tenant gives notice in a joint and severally liable lease (presumably not during a fixed term) the whole tenancy legally comes to an end anyway.

Marlena Topple

9:45 AM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Thanks. If one person decides to vacate, effectively ending the tenancy for all, I presume that will give grounds for a section 8 eviction if remaining tenants refuse to leave. I am not aware that this scenario has been addressed in the information published thus far

Luke P

10:49 AM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Yvonne Francis at 22/05/2023 - 09:24
Not unless/until they actually leave. The act of giving notice doesn’t end the tenancy.

Luke P

10:52 AM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Marlena Topple at 22/05/2023 - 09:45
One tenant leaving does NOT end a tenancy for all. Currently, outside the fixed term, one tenant can give notice that is effective for everyone, but as I said to Yvonne above, the *giving* of the notice doesn’t end the tenancy anyway.

Yvonne Francis

18:53 PM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 22/05/2023 - 10:49
"A legal notice ends your tenancy and your right to live in your home. Joint tenancies will end for all tenants even if only one of you gives notice. You cannot withdraw a valid notice if you change your mind." Google

I don't quite see your point. A properly written notice to quit is legally binding. Or are you thinking of the old adage many a solicitor told me, 'possession is nine tenths of the law'.

Marlena Topple

20:42 PM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

I would like to know what the landlord can do in this scenario if remaining tenants are not prepared to make up the shortfall and refuse to leave. Would this be grounds for a section 8 eviction post implementation of the Renter's reform bill?

Luke P

21:27 PM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Marlena Topple at 22/05/2023 - 20:42
Just use s.8 for arrears.

Marlena Topple

1:30 AM, 23rd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 22/05/2023 - 21:27
Thanks all.

Julesgflawyer

9:52 AM, 23rd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Marlena Topple at 20/05/2023 - 13:53
Generally speaking, if you have a periodic tenancy, and "the tenant" is a number of persons, any one of those persons can serve a notice to quit on the landlord. The effect of that is that the tenancy as a whole comes to an end on expiry of the NTQ and L is entitled to possession. Not sure if this is addressed in the Bill but rather doubt it

Julesgflawyer

9:59 AM, 23rd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Yvonne Francis at 22/05/2023 - 09:24
Correct

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