Government rental reforms

July 06, 2022

The government are planning to shake up the private rental sector with further reforms, but could this be good news for landlords?

Guidance has been released with the “Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper”, detailing government plans to legislate the private rental market.

Aimed at making the renting process fairer for tenants, the changes look to improve standards for all involved. Receiving a largely positive response from landlords so far, they should also raise the bar for tenants.

Changes to rent should create fairer competition all around, with an end to rent review clauses causing rates to reflect their value more equally in the current market. Notice periods will be doubled for rental increases, tenants will be able to cease unjustified rent hikes, and rent increases will still be permitted once a year.

Evictions for tenants at fault are still allowed, with less notice needed for tenants displaying criminal or serious antisocial behaviours. This should abate landlord concern over the abolishment of Section 21.

New grounds added to Section 8 give landlords more control over their property, should they wish to sell, or move their family in. Standard periodic tenancies will help to control the duration of lettings and give tenants more security. The plans are to implement periodic tenancies over six months, giving everyone time to adjust.

It will be illegal for landlords to blanket ban renting to families, and those on benefits, plus the notice for rent arrear eviction will increase to four weeks, but if there are serious repeated rent arrears, eviction will become mandatory.

Good landlords will remain generally unaffected by proposals in line with the Decent Homes Standard. Covering the health and safety of tenants, with properties kept in decent repair, the main challenge will be the rise in energy efficiency levels by 2030.

With the growing demand for more private rentals, and a weighing importance of standardization in the market, a new government approved ombudsman will be dedicated to the rental sector. Should the standard of a letting be too low, they will ensure the landlord reimburse the tenant, and in extreme cases, provide monetary compensation.

Legislation will make it easier for tenants to have pets, yet landlords will be able to safeguard their property against potential damages, by charging pet insurance.

All in all, the proposed changes seem like good news for the industry, however, if you would like further advice, please contact our Lettings Team on (01252) 514000,

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