Renters Reform Bill – What this means for our landlords

With the Renters Reform Bill now going through Parliament, we wanted to take this opportunity to look at some of the changes and how they will impact the processes we use now for rentals.  We want to support our landlords in understanding what this means for them and what they should be ready for in terms of the outcomes.
Whilst this has only just entered Parliament, it is likely to be passed this year with the rollout aimed for October 2024.  At the time of publishing this update, this was the progress of the bill:

For up-to-date progress, please click here.
We know this will prompt conversations and potentially some concerns among landlords as the bill favours the tenants.  At Bernard’s we want to help as much as possible so below are the main changes that will be coming in that will be useful for our current and new landlords.  
• Section 21s will be abolished and Sections 8s will now have more grounds for procession.  More of these will also become mandatory rather than discretionary.  If a landlord serves notice for a tenant to leave as they are going to sell the property, then they cannot re-let for 3 months after the tenant vacates.  
• All tenancies will go straight on to a periodic tenancy. An AST will move to Assured tenancy.  During the consultation period while there is a fixed-term tenancy Section 21 will be relevant and can be served.    
• Student houses are based on the trust the tenants will stay put for the full academic year.
• Upfront payments can still be taken, but we will need to look at how this is paid to the landlord on a monthly contract.  
• A Section 13 is non-negotiable when served for a rent increase.  If tenants say no, then we are now unable to serve notice.  
• There will be a deduction from the benefits order, so if a tenant on UC is in arrears, they will have a payment plan set up by their keyworker to have this paid directly to the landlord/agent to clear arrears.  
• We cannot say no to pets.  If it is in the lease agreement on a flat, this would then be the
• discretion of the leaseholders.  The flaws in this may be a landlord may be able to say no to certain animals due to allergies but not all animals.  Tenants will need to provide ‘pet damage insurance’ or a landlord can take this out and the tenant will then include this in rental payments.  The tenants will be liable for the excess. 
• Starting next year there will be a landlord list, they will all need to be registered, and we cannot advertise a property without this number. If we do, fines start between £5000-£30,000. We can’t register for you.

Glossary of terms
Section 21 – enables private landlords to repossess their properties from assured shorthold tenants without having to establish fault on the part of the tenant. 
Section 8 – notice given by a landlord to end tenancy for legal reasons.
Periodic tenancy – rolling tenancy with no fixed end date. 
AST – assured shorthold tenancy, an agreement between tenant and landlord.
Assured tenancy – a long-term agreement offering secure tenure.
Section 13 – issued when the landlord wants to increase rent.
If you are worried about what this bill means for you as a private landlord, please get in touch with one of our knowledgeable team today.