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News January 13, 2020

The Renters Reform Bill



Brilliant, now I’ve covered off all the headlines you’ll be seeing in the papers and hopeless bias headlines on forums let’s talk The Renters Reform Bill. What is? When’s it coming? What does it really mean? How will it affect landlords? And should I panic?

The Rents Reform Bill has been on the cards for a while now, in the lead up to the general election the big three parties all had policies that looked to reform and the review the private rental sector. Put simply, a larger than ever portion of voters are living in rental, and like it or not, for many, rent is their largest outgoing. The number of voters in rental has the capability to swing an election and housing, as always, is one of the hottest topics in politics.

The Rent Reform Bill is set to the ban on Section 21, tenancy deposit reform and a ‘new deal for renting’ and following its announcement in the Queens Speech on 19th December it, at some point, will happen. The part that has caught the headlines is the banning of section 21’s, what many are calling “the end of no fault evictions”. For those of you that are unsure, a section 21 is notice to end a tenancy and for a landlord regain possession where no reason has to be given and this has sent many into melt down.

It’s not hard to understand why. What if you need you property back? What if notice cannot be served on a Section 8 (notice served on one of seventeen grounds split into mandatory and discretionary grounds) how will you get your property back? Well, at the minute, there isn’t clarity on this, and the best example I can think of is; what if you need to sell your tenanted property? Surely it’s unfair to make someone sell a property with tenant in situ and achieve a potentially below market value.

But let’s be sensible for a moment, this is not going to change overnight, look how long it took for the “tenant fee act” to come to fruition. My view, as is ARLA’s, is that there will be a redraft to the Housing Act 1988 to encompass more grounds for possession under section 8’s and in doing this cover landlords against the above.

So what can we take away from this; well firstly, let’s not panic, this is some way off yet and when it does come into play chances will be made to deal with it correctly and fairly.

No doubt more to follow on this one!

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