The majority of landlords in the UK take their responsibility seriously, treat their tenants fairly, and provide their tenants with safe, comfortable, and good quality homes. However, it is estimated that more than half a million properties pose a health and safety risk to their tenants. A white paper on a fairer private rented sector was published on 16th June by the government to fundamentally reform the private rented sector and level up housing quality. Earlier this year, the Queen's Speech announced the Renters Reform Bill, which includes these measures. Which you can read about in our earlier blog
Arlington Park's lettings team outlines some of the action plan's areas of focus:
Renting homes of better quality
The Decent Homes Standard will be mandated for the first time by 2030, aiming to reduce the number of poor-quality rental homes by half. The landlord should maintain the home in a good repair state and ensure that it is free of health and safety hazards. In order to speed up landlord adoption of the scheme, the Government will run pilot schemes with a few local councils.
'No fault' evictions under Section 21 will be banned
Approximately a fifth of private tenants who moved in 2019 and 2020 did not do so voluntarily, so landlords will be prohibited from terminating tenancies without reason.
Allowance of pets
Landlords will have to allow tenants to bring pets into their rental properties. A potential tenant's request must be considered, and they cannot refuse it for unreasonable reasons. Tenant Fees Act 2019 will include pet insurance as a permitted payment, making it easier for landlords to accept pets. Therefore, any damage to your property can be covered by pet insurance.
Rent review clauses will be abolished
Landlords must justify any rent increases. As part of the new law, landlords will also be liable for paying back rent to tenants who live in housing that isn't considered 'good quality.' This will give tenants more power to challenge poor practices and unjustified rent increases and ensure they receive their rent back.
A new Private Renters’ Ombudsman
A new system is being developed to allow disputes between landlords and tenants to be resolved quickly, inexpensively, and without the need to go to court. The updated law will require all landlords to register with a new digital property portal. This will provide a single access for landlords to understand their legal requirements and demonstrate compliance. In any situation where the quality or service of the property the landlords provide falls short of expectations, the new Ombudsman can compel them to reimburse tenants for the rent. Non-compliance with the ombudsman's decisions can also result in severe financial penalties.
Periodic tenancies to be unified for all tenants
Tenants are allowed to leave poor quality housing without being liable for the rent, or to move easily when circumstances change. The tenancy will end only if a tenant leaves or if a landlord has an acceptable legal reason for terminating it.
A doubling of notice periods for rent increases
There will be a doubled notice period for rent increases, and tenants will have more rights to challenge unjustified increases.
Find Out More
To view the full list of the upcoming rules, click here for more information on the Government’s website.
It may seem quite scary, but most landlords are excellent ones, so these proposed rules won't really affect too many. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to your Arlington Park Property Management team. We'd be more than happy to assist you.