Renters Reform Development
We finally have some solid news on the Renters (Reform) Bill 2023 which was put before Parliament last week. As anticipated the Bill proposes the abolition of Assured Shorthold Tenancies and S21 Notices which will have far reaching consequences for both landlords and tenants. There will be no more fixed term tenancies and “No Fault” evictions will be a thing of the past, preventing landlords from evicting their tenants without a reason. This means protection for tenants who might otherwise have been given notice simply so that the landlord could bring in new tenants at a higher rent or because they have dared to complain one too many times and become a nuisance or bothersome.
There will be changes to the grounds for possession, including the right for a landlord to recover possession if they wish to sell their property or who have family that need to move in. There will still be a right to recover where the tenant is in arrears and there is some strengthening of that, no longer will landlords be scuppered by tenants paying off just enough of their rent arrears to avoid a possession order before a court hearing because the new ground proposes that if the tenant has been in arrears three times in three years the ground will be made out. On the flip side however, there is proposed a longer notice period before a claim can be issued.
There is a plan to make possession claims move more quickly through the courts but that will require significant changes in the court system and is likely to continue to cause delays for some time to come. The courts are still facing significant backlogs post covid.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme rules are also set to change and to be strengthened in tenants’ favour. One other significant proposal is that tenants can now request a pet and that request cannot be unreasonably refused. Expect a flurry of requests for dogs, cats and goldfish!
Remember though that this is only a Bill and has yet to make its way through the Commons and the Lords and so could change along the way but keep your eyes open and we will keep you posted. In the meantime, landlords and tenants continue as normal!