Rent Reform Bill - Not the End of the Rental Market
The controversial Rent Reform Bill published on the 17th May is not the end of the rental market and private landlords as some in the housing system claim it to be.
The key areas from the bill are as follows:
• Section 21 notice "No fault eviction" abolished, all tenancies to move to periodic
• Introduce more possession grounds where tenants are at fault, for example in cases of anti-social behaviour and repeat rent arrears
• Provide stronger protections against retaliatory evictions
• Introduce a new Private Rented Sector Ombudsman to reduce pressure on the courts
• Create a Portal for landlords and tenants to understand responsibilities and obligations
• Give tenants the right to request a pet in the property. Landlords will be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to their property
Why the end of section 21 isn't all bad
How often does a landlord serve notice without a reason? Almost never and with an amendment to section 8 allowing landlords to regain their property if they wish to sell or move back in this shouldn't affect reputable landlords who's circumstances change. In line with a beefing up of the rent arrears possession ground, it should now make it easier for a landlord to regain the property. Previously landlords would have served a section 21 notice for most rent arrears cases to remove the hassle, in doing this they almost always wrote off the arrears too. Now with using a section 8 notice to gain possession landlords will also be able to recoup the arrears through a money order.
Pressure on the courts
The introduction of a Private Rented Sector Ombudsman should see faster progress especially for all mandatory possession grounds. Whereas before everything had to go through the courts and you could be waiting anywhere up to 6 months before recovering a property.
A Landlord Portal
The government have wanted to create a list of landlords for the last 10 years and now we will see this happen. Hopefully this will remove the rogue landlords from our sector that give landlords a bad name and promote good quality housing.
Cats and Dogs
Tenants will also be given the legal right to request a pet in their home, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. Landlords will be able to require pet insurance to cover any damages to their property and also refuse if their lease doesn't allow or the property is not suitable.
Once there is more meat on the bones of the changes afoot, both landlords and tenants will be able to operate within the sector with greater confidence.