Honourable and personal residential letting experts

14Feb

Update on the Renters Reform Bill

At present, the Bill is about to go to the report stage and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) along with the Conservative MP Anthony Mangnall have been doing and excellent job on putting more pragmatic changes on to the Bill. The mood music seems to be that the government may have caught on that landlords play a big part in making sure there are homes available for people to live in.

The amendments have been reported as follows

  • Enact the recommendations of the cross-party housing select committee that tenants be unable to give notice to leave a property until they have been in it for at least four months when fixed term tenancies end. The Committee has previously noted that: “A reasonable balance needs to be struck between security of tenure for tenants and a degree of certainty for landlords.”
  • Enable evidence such as texts or emails from neighbours to be taken into account by the courts when deciding if a tenant has engaged in anti-social behaviour.
  • Address concerns that the courts are not prepared for the impact of the end of section 21 repossessions by requiring the Government to publish a review of the operation of possession proceedings in the courts before it is abolished.  The Law Society has previously warned that: “The courts are vastly overstretched: possession claims and the eviction process can take many months, sometimes more.” It continued: “The government should outline how it intends to manage increased demand on the courts and what additional resourcing it will put in place to deal with existing backlogs.”
  • Prevent a costly duplication of efforts by ending the use of landlord selective licensing schemes by councils when the national Property Portal covering the private rented sector is established.
  • Protect the annual cycle of all types of student housing by extending the Government’s proposed ground for possession to achieve this to one- and two-bedroom student properties, not just Houses in Multiple Occupation.

All of these amendments seem to be a practical balance between the needs of residents to feel secure in the home that they rent and protecting them against the rogue element of landlords. And still making it viable for landlords to invest in providing homes. Time will tell!