Welcome to our comprehensive FAQs guide on the recently proposed UK Renters Reform Bill. As the housing landscape in the United Kingdom evolves, so do the laws that govern it. In response to the ever-changing needs and challenges faced by tenants and landlords alike, the UK government has put forth this new legislation aimed at transforming the rental sector.
As you delve into these FAQs, keep in mind that this legislation is subject to revisions and parliamentary debates. The information provided here is based on the bill as proposed at the time of writing, and some details may change before the final version is enacted.
Whether you're a current tenant, a prospective renter, or a property owner, we hope this guide will help you understand the implications of the UK Renters Reform Bill and how it could shape the rental market for years to come. Let's navigate through the frequently asked questions and gain valuable insights into this significant legislative proposal.
The date that this will be implemented is not yet confirmed but we anticipate that it will be Autumn 2024. The changes will be implemented in two stages, and there will be 6 months’ notice given. There will then be a minimum of 12 months before the second changes take effect.
The main changes are:
- An end to fixed term tenancies.
- End of use of Section 21 notice for no fault evictions.
- A change to how rent can be increased.
- Requirement for all properties to meet the Decent Homes Standard.
- Requirement for all landlords to join an Ombudsman Scheme.
- Registration of properties on a new property portal.
As the name suggests, a fixed-term tenancy is for a set period of time, at the end of which either you or your tenant can serve notice to end the tenancy. The changes will see all tenancies becoming periodic which is a tenancy on a rolling basis with no end date with the tenant able to give 2 months’ notice to end the tenancy at any time.
The law will see the end of the Section 21 notice, which is used for no fault evictions i.e. the mechanism for ending a tenancy without needing to give a reason. New grounds for possession are being introduced to enable you to take back your property in circumstances such as if you wish to sell the property or move back in. You will, of course, still be able to end the tenancy if the rent falls into a certain amount of arrears or for anti-social behaviour.
Yes, you can still increase the rent once a year, but this can now only be done by serving two months’ notice using a Section 13 notice, setting out the details of the rent increase on your tenant. We will be able to do this on your behalf.
All rented properties will need to be maintained at a certain standard. We are confident that all properties under our management already meet this standard and will continue to work with you to advise and assist with any works that may be required in future. If we don’t manage your property, we can undertake a review of the condition and health of a property on request.
Yes, a new Ombudsman service is being introduced which all landlords will have to join. This is being introduced to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. We do not yet know if there will be a membership cost but are confident that if we manage your property, we will be able to administer this on your behalf.
You will need to register your properties on a new property portal to which councils, landlords, and tenants will have access. The purpose is to give tenants and councils access to information such as compliance details so that they can see that the property has all the necessary safety checks in place. As an agent, we anticipate having access to this portal and, under our managed service, hope to be able to administer this on your behalf. Additionally, we will continue to arrange for all safety checks to be undertaken to keep you compliant.
Yes! You still have the right to accept a particular tenant at your property. However, the Government is proposing that blanket bans on families with children or pets, or recipients of benefits will be prevented. As an agent, we already ensure that there are no such blanket bans in place.
No, the proposal is to allow tenants to have the right to request a pet in their property, which cannot be unreasonably refused. In turn, you will be able to ask that tenants buy pet insurance to protect against any potential damage to your property.