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The government has finally unveiled the Tenant Reform Bill, which includes measures to abolish Article 21 evictions.
The bill would allow tenants to challenge landlords without fear of eviction if their properties fall below standards.
Meanwhile, the reform bill promises to strengthen the right of landlords to evict tenants for anti-social behavior or non-payment of rent.
A new eviction ground called “permanent delinquency” will be introduced, allowing landlords to evict tenants when they want to sell their property.
A private renter ombudsman will be set up to deal with disputes between renters and landlords. All landlords are required to participate in this scheme.
Term contracts have been changed to rolling contracts to provide additional security to tenants.
With students currently relying on short-term rentals to drop out at the end of the school year, it is believed the government needs to make rules for landlords who rent to students.
Landlords can only raise rents once a year, but they must give one to two months’ notice before they do. Tenants can object if the price increase is deemed unjustified.
UK landlords will no longer be able to ban rentals for the benefit of billers and families, but they will not be able to prevent tenants from keeping pets.
Meanwhile, tenants will be able to claim rent refunds if the property falls below “decent housing standards,” although the definition is still in development.
The city council will have more power to fight rogue landlords, as it will be able to impose higher fines for serious violations.
Landlords will have to register with the new real estate portal, which will allow tenants to check if they are complying with the rules.
According to the NRLA, the government aims to consolidate and make available to the public information from a “fraudulent landlord database” that tracks landlords who commit crimes.
Propertymark and NRLA have called for the Elective and Additive Licensing schemes to be scrapped once the portal goes live so that landlords don’t have to pay for both schemes.
The bill is about to pass Congress, but is likely to undergo many changes before it is approved.
PropertyMark’s head of policy and campaigns, Timothy Douglas, believes that the nine- to 12-month process has begun before the measure hits the market.
“As a package, the Tenant Reform Bill is the most significant set of reforms in a generation for the private rental sector,” said Rebecca Marsh, ombudsman for the Real Estate Ombudsman.
“This system gives landlords a stronger ability to deal with anti-social behavior while requiring a reason to evict a tenant, and TPO is regularly targeted in the inquiries and disputes we receive. I’m trying to address the issue of
“Underpinning this is the need to reduce court hours and introduce remedies, both of which play a fundamental role in ensuring that these reforms work at a practical level. will fulfill.
“We fully support the need for remedies in the form of an independent, non-commercial landlord ombudsman because it is more beneficial to both landlords and tenants than basic remedies.
“This is because the referral function is essential for resolving issues before they escalate into larger disputes, and because it can provide early warning of concerns, it can help landlords properly address issues before they enter the more formal process. Because it can support remedies and court elements.
“It is also important that the provision of remedies is based on the interests of the parties and the industry, rather than those of shareholders.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the ministry to not only resolve disputes, but to assist tenants and landlords and to help develop an ombudsman who will support broader areas and court reform.”
Ori Sherrock, director of rental market expert Goodroad, said: The bill’s continued delay in issuance creates a lot of uncertainty at a time when the market is tight. Even now, it’s not entirely clear what the final version of the bill will include, but at least years of speculation have made the outlines clearer.
“There are some really positive steps to celebrate here when it comes to tenant rights. However, we cannot expect the rental industry to sustainably reform and strengthen without meaningfully addressing the structural issues facing the market.
“Today, all anecdotal evidence points to an increasing number of landlords deciding to sell. and supply issues, creating desperation among residents seeking new housing, resulting in a market situation that the bill was not intended for: repairs. I think there is also a legitimate concern about whether the courts will be able to cope with the increase in cases that are likely to be filed.
“The government should not see the promulgation of this bill as a job done. It should be the first step in a long-term series of urgent changes needed. We need empowered and protected tenants, and fair-minded and encouraged landlords, and laws that ignore either one or the other will not make the necessary difference.”
“Repealing no-fault evictions has been on the table for more than four years, and the only surprise is that it took so long to be presented to Congress,” said Scott Goldstein, a partner at law firm Payne-Hicks Beach. It took time,” he said. We haven’t seen the bill yet, but government briefings have ignored the issue that a court order is required to evict tenants, making the courts more burdensome than ever. ing.
“Many landlords are honest people who rely on rental income to pay their mortgages. It can take months and costs thousands of dollars more than it would otherwise, giving unscrupulous tenants another way to delay.
“If the government had acted in good faith, there would have been a complete overhaul of the court system that governs evictions, which would have required significant investment and sadly it did not happen. Not surprising.”
Gary Scott, partner at law firm Spector, Constant & Williams, said: “Landlords have expressed concern that the removal of the no-fault route for eviction leaves an occupancy process that is seriously flawed in terms of both the grounds of occupancy currently permitted and their ownership rights.” said. The fact that the court proceedings are wholly unfit for purpose. In some cases, the process from service of notice to obtaining possession has taken him over twelve months. At the very least it means that if he is two months behind on his rent, he will not be able to take ownership and he may have no rental income for 14 months.
“The bill proposes to expand the grounds of possession permitted and to reform court procedures. I don’t know yet if it’s possible.”
Neil Kobold, managing director of software firm PayProp UK, said: “After years of delays, the Landlords (Reform) Bill has finally been made public, but the bill already includes provisions for the Fairer Private Rentals Act of 2022. It’s included, so it doesn’t contain any surprises for the industry.” Sector white paper.
“The bill does not appear to have given much specific details, but the government has announced that detailed information on the proposal will be outlined in a separate white paper. It would extend the holding pattern that the sector currently falls into.
“Until the government clarifies when evictions will change, apply decent housing standards, introduce a new ombudsman and landlord portal, the industry will not be able to proceed with reforms.
“We believe the government will draw on the wealth of experience and knowledge that landlords, brokers, tenants and other stakeholders have to ensure that the Tenant (Reform) Bill benefits all parties. I have.”
Alex Sullivan, co-founder of smarter rent brokerage firm Smarter Rent, said: “Michael Gove downplays the impact of the renter reform bill, saying only a ‘few’ landlords will be affected. ,i don’t think so.
“I think it will affect the majority of landlords. If you believe you have no rights, and as a landlord, if you don’t believe in transparent price increases, then you shouldn’t be in the industry.
“Make way for investors who believe that tenants should be safe. Owning a home. What we need is to make new investments easier and more attractive. Building energy efficient properties that tenants can call home for the long term is a good thing.”