• Published: 16th Jun 22
  • Category: News

I woke this morning to find my inbox bursting with emails carrying the news that the long awaited white paper on the Renters Reform Bill is to be published today.

At the time of writing this hasn’t actually been released although I will continue to hit ‘send and receive’ as I type this.

What do we know so far? The devil is in the detail of course, so until we can read the White Paper we can only rely on the headlines in the governments press release which include:

  • Preventing blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits
  • Ending the use of rent review clauses, restricting landlords from hiking up rent and enabling tenants to be repaid rent for non-decent homes. This will make sure tenants can take their landlord to court to seek repayment of rent if their homes are of unacceptable standard
  • Making it easier for tenants to have much-loved pets in their homes by giving all tenants the right to request a pet in their house, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse
  • All tenants to be moved onto a single system of periodic tenancies, meaning they can leave poor quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change. A tenancy will only end if a tenant ends or a landlord has a valid reason, defined in law
  • Doubling notice periods for rent increases and giving tenants stronger powers to challenge them if they are unjustified
  • Councils will have stronger powers to tackle the worst offenders, increasing fines for serious offences
  • Creating a Private Renters’ Ombudsman to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost, and without going to court
  • Ensuring responsible landlords can gain possession of their properties efficiently from anti-social tenants and can sell their properties when they need to
  • Introducing a new property portal to help landlords understand, and comply with, their responsibilities as well as giving councils and tenants the information they need to tackle rogue operators

Much of this is not new information. For example, we have known for some time that Section 21’s will be abolished or that you cannot have a blanket ban on tenants receiving benefits.

It is worth keeping in mind that this will need to follow parliamentary process before it passes into law, and although the original target was March 2023, it seems unlikely that they will achieve this date.

There will be a consultation following the release of the paper and we would urge you to contribute your opinions to this.

These points do raise questions for landlords (and us) and at the moment we do not yet have the answers. Once we have had the opportunity to study the paper we will post more so do keep an eye on our website. We will also be in touch with our clients to provide further information on how they may be affected.

If you fancy a read of the press release, you can see that here.

 

UPDATE – The White Paper has now been released and can be read here.

 

Please note the date this article was published as the law may have changed since it was posted. You should always seek independent legal advice if you are intending to rely on any of the contents.

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