What Does The Rental Reform White Paper Mean For Landlords

What Does the Rental Reform White Paper Mean for Landlords?A 3-minute read.

And as if from nowhere, the white paper on the reform of the PRS lands. Not due until later in the year, the cynics amongst us might think the government might be trying to divert attention from other matters.
All the same, the clarity the release of the white paper brings is welcome, but we are still some way from any actual changes to the way the PRS operates.
What is the Rental Reform White Paper?

A white paper is a policy document produced by the Government that set out its proposals for future legislation.
The headline reforms are as previously expected, albeit with a little more flesh on the bones, with a 12-point plan that includes:

The expected abolition of Section 21 evictions, with a new form of periodic tenancy proposed

Limits to rent increase clauses (to one per year) and an allowance for tenants to have pets
The Decent Homes Standard to be a prerequisite for all rental properties
Reforming grounds for possession to strengthen and expedite evictions for rent arrears and anti-social behaviour
Introduce a new Ombudsman service for tenants to hold landlords to account and Property Portal to ensure that information is readily available to all parties.

What does it mean for Landlords?

It’s important for landlords to read the government’s white paper to get a full understanding of these proposals and how exactly they will work (linked below).
A fairer private rented sector – Gov.uk
For some landlords the reforms might mean needing to revise tenancy agreements or listing policies, while others might have to make improvements to their properties.
Private rented homes will need to meet the decent homes standard, which means not only free of hazards but also warm, free of disrepair and with suitable kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Landlords will only be able to evict tenants on sale or moving in grounds after the first 6 months of the tenancy. In these cases, tenants will have two months to move out and if the landlord has proven their grounds the court will have to make an order for eviction. Otherwise, tenancies will be indefinite and can be ended only by the tenant or the landlord giving legitimate notice.
Landlords will however have greater clarity through the creation of a new private renters’ ombudsman to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost, and without going to court; ensuring responsible landlords can gain possession of their properties efficiently from anti-social tenants; and introducing a new property portal that will provide a single front door to help landlords to understand, and comply with, their responsibilities.

The white paper is just the first step, and the details of the future legislation will now be debated to ensure that the reform works for all parties. This will take place over the coming months, and we will keep you apprised of developments.
When the time comes, it will be vital that you have an experienced and knowledgeable agent with a sound grasp on the new legislation to help guide you through the transition, ensure that you understand the new rules and regulations, and remain compliant at all times. MyLondonHome stand ready to assist you and the preparation should begin now by ensuring you have the right agent looking after your interests.

This post was written by:

Anmar Rhaman

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