Rental reform plans revealed, what does it mean for our East Yorkshire landlords?

05 Jul 2022

The Government has published their Levelling Up plans for a 'Fairer Private Rented Sector' in a recent white paper. The planned reforms are set to be the largest changes in the private rented sector in the last three decades. The paper outlines support for tenants living in substandard conditions and vulnerable tenants facing eviction, it does however outline some key reforms to bolster the rights of the landlord.
These reforms have been long-awaited since the government's initial announcement of reforms in the sector. The Government's commitments include: 
  • Halve the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030, requiring privately rented homes to meet the Decent Homes Standard
  • Trial schemes with some local councils to explore alternative ways of enforcing living standards
  • Abolish Section 21 and introduce new possession grounds for landlords
  • Reform grounds for possession, expedite landlords’ ability to evict those who disrupt neighbourhoods through antisocial behaviour and introduce new grounds for persistent arrears and sale of the property
  • Convert Assured and Assured Shorthold tenancies into periodic tenancies, that can be ended by the tenant with two months’ notice and by landlords with a legitimate reason
  • Extend the Decent Homes Standard to the sector
  • Create a new Private Renters’ Ombudsman to settle disputes informally
  • Introduce a new Property Portal to support landlords – and to provide information on rogue landlords
  • Abolish rent review clauses (while retaining the ability to increase rents annually)
  • Outlaw blanket bans on renting to families with children or tenants on benefits
  • Incentivise landlords to accept tenants with pets
  • Reform and speed up the court process.
So what does this all mean for landlords?
Here are some notable changes for landlords; landlords will now be allowed to request pet insurance as a condition for tenants moving in with animals. Landlords are obliged to consider a tenant's request to keep a pet but can decline with a good reason.
There is a commitment from the Government to reform the court system. The Government intends to make local authorities more accountable when it comes to housing standards. Whilst major commitments to strengthening possession grounds, speedier court processes and mediation are helpful, full details of how these will work will follow. The NRLA has been arguing the case that a practicable replacement to the abolished section 21 must follow in its wake – allowing landlords to regain possession of their properties under legitimate circumstances. 
There's a strong feeling amongst landlords and agents that it is very important that the reforms acknowledge that a number of Government actions have resulted in shortages in homes to rent privately during a period of record demand. This has consequently led more and more landlords to leave the sector, driving rents higher during a time when renters are struggling to afford them.
Propertymark reported that the number of properties available to rent through letting agents halved in the month of March between 2019 and 2022, during this same period over 90% of landlords that removed their property from the rental market did so to sell it. Furthermore, over half of the rental properties removed from the market, in March 2022 alone, did not return back to the private rented market.
NRLA are closely involved in the deliberations on these reforms, they will be actively working to ensure that landlords and agents get a fair deal within the Rental Reform Bill.
If you have any questions or concerns, get in touch and let's talk.

Posted By

Ollie Potten

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