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Landlord legals news: More changes announced ahead of the Renters’ Reform Bill

Posted 2/05/2023 by Your Move
Categories: Landlords/Lettings
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The big question in lettings at the moment is: what’s happening with the Renters’ Reform Bill? Although it seems to have been under discussion for a long time, it has still not yet been introduced in parliament. However, we are expecting some progress on it this year, given that the White Paper, ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’, was published last June.

Usually, once a bill has been introduced, it takes around a year to make its way through parliament and become a legal Act. The law then normally comes into force either the following April or October.

So, if the Renters’ Reform Bill is introduced this Spring, as was originally expected, it could become law towards the end of 2024. But if it’s not put forward until the autumn, it could easily be 2025 before changes including the scrapping of section 21 and the move to periodic tenancies take effect.

Meanwhile, at the end of March the Government announced some more specific proposals that it intends to introduce – which we presume will be included in their draft of the Bill:

Making it easier for landlords to evict anti-social tenants

Under a new Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan aimed at stamping out anti-social behaviour and restoring people’s right to feel safe in their local area, it’s being proposed that landlords are given more power to evict anti-social tenants. This will include:

  • Having a specific anti-social behaviour clause in the tenancy agreement that makes it easier to establish a breach of contract under this ground
  • Introducing a two-week notice period for anti-social behaviour
  • Prioritising legal evictions that cite anti-social behaviour

Although there may be some concern about how landlords could abuse this kind of power to evict tenants with only two weeks’ notice, we believe it’s important to reassure landlords that if the section 21 notice is abolished as planned, they can regain possession of their property.

This ability to deal with anti-social tenants more quickly is also good news for other tenants and neighbours, as they’re the ones who are usually adversely affected.

The Government has also said that it will explore ways it can better support landlords with mediation through the new Ombudsman, to help them deal with cases of ‘low-level’ anti-social behaviour from tenants and avoid eviction.

Increasing fines for landlords who let their properties fall into disrepair

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has also announced that they will be removing the upper limit on fines for landlords who allow their properties to fall into disrepair. In reality, this should make little difference to the vast majority of landlords who maintain their tenants’ homes in very good condition, but it may help local authorities target the few unscrupulous ones.

If you have any questions about these proposals or any other legal changes, we’re always here to help. Just get in touch with your local Your Move branch and speak to one of the team.

Do you have a property to let? Would you like to know what your potential rental income could be? Find out by booking a lettings valuation with your local lettings manager.

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The Your Move Content Marketing Team

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