Being a private landlord is about to become even less profitable. How will the Renters Reform Bill affect you?
August 10, 2022
Landlords in the private rental sector have already been subject to extra stamp duty as second homeowners, and their ability to set costs against their tax has been curtailed. Now they have to worry about how they will be affected by the new Renters Reform Bill 2022.
Perhaps the most important provision is the likely abolition of the current section 21 no fault eviction provision, which allows landlords to give notice to tenants at the end of a fixed term, or during a rolling periodic tenancy. Currently, you don’t need to prove rent arrears or any breach of the tenancy terms – so long as you give notice in the correct manner, the court can order the tenant to leave if they don’t go voluntarily.
If the new Bill becomes law, all tenants on an Assured Tenancy or Assured Shorthold Tenancy will be moved to a single system of periodic tenancies under which no fault eviction will not be possible, except where the landlord wants to repossess in order to sell the property or to move into it themselves. Tenants, on the other hand, will only need to give you two months’ notice of their intention to leave. Just imagine doing all the work to get a tenant in place, only to have them give you notice after two months.
The Bill will also make the following provisions:
- Outlaw blanket bans on prospective tenants with children or who are on benefits as this is considered discriminatory, particularly to women, disabled and vulnerable people.
- Give tenants the right to ask for permission to keep pets at the rental property. Landlords will be required to seriously consider the request and won’t be able to refuse unreasonably.
- Remove rent review clauses from leases so rents can only be increased once a year, and only after giving two months’ notice.
- Require all rented homes to meet the Decent Homes Standard.
- Introduce a government appointed Ombudsman to resolve disputes without going to court. This sounds positive, but the Ombudsman will have the ability to order landlords to apologise, take remedial action and even pay up to £25,000 in compensation
According to a recent article in The Telegraph, Hamptons Estate Agents are expecting 16% of property sales over the next year to come from the buy-to-let sector. While some of these landlords may be selling property in order to buy more new builds which meet the Decent Homes Standard, it does appear many landlords will be leaving the market entirely.
If you’re worried about the profitability of your private letting business, it may be time to take advantage of section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 while you still can, to evict your tenants without having to prove they are in breach of their tenancy obligations. We can help you make sure you get the Notice of Seeking Possession right first time, before dealing with any court proceedings if your tenants aren’t willing to leave voluntarily.
Call James Hemsley on 020 8313 1300 for a quick conversation about how we can help free up your tenanted properties for sale, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.