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Renters reform bill finally published
The proposed Renters Reform Bill is set to bring significant changes to the private rental sector and is expected to provide tenants with greater protection from arbitrary rent increases, while preventing landlords from evicting tenants without justification.
A major clause included in the proposed changes targets the standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy - with a periodic or rolling system becoming the norm. This will provide greater flexibility for tenants and landlords, allowing them to react to changing personal circumstances.
The Bill is also expected to stop blanket 'no pet' policies and extend the Decent Homes Standard to the private rental sector for the first time.
Universal landlord license scrapped
One of the key features of the proposed legislation is the introduction of a new online property portal that will provide a single hub for landlords, tenants, and local councils.
While this isn't quite the revolution some expected, with whispers of a universal landlord license having been mentioned for some time, the portal will be more than a policy hub.
Tenants will be able to access information about their landlord’s historic compliance, and local councils can use data to crack down on non-compliant landlords.
Landlords concerned over 'knock-on' results
The proposed Renters Reform Bill has been welcomed by many tenant advocacy groups, who have long campaigned for greater protections for renters in the UK.
However, some landlords and property industry groups have expressed concern about the impact that the changes could have on the sector.
Some have argued that the abolition of Section 21 could make it more difficult for landlords to evict problem tenants, and that this could discourage investment in the private rental sector.
Others have raised concerns about the impact that the changes could have on rent levels, with some suggesting that the restrictions on rent increases could lead to a shortage of rental properties in some areas.
Despite these concerns, the UK Government has remained committed to the proposed reforms. The new legislation is likely to have a significant impact on the private rental sector in the UK, and it remains to be seen how landlords and tenants will adapt to the changes.
However, many tenant advocacy groups are hopeful that the Bill will provide much-needed protections for renters, and help to address some of the longstanding issues in the UK's rental market.