25th May 2023
Long awaited government reforms to the private rental sector in England have been unveiled, featuring a new law banning landlords from evicting tenants with no justification.
The Renters’ (Reform) Bill, introduced to Parliament on May 17, is set to benefit as many as 11 million tenants across England according to government figures, empowering renters to challenge poor landlords without risking losing their homes.
Balancing the scales, the bill will also provide protections to more than two million landlords, making it easier for them to recover their properties if required if they intend to sell, move in a close family member, or when tenants wilfully do not pay rent. Landlords will also have enhanced and broadened powers to reduce notice periods for irresponsible behaviour and evict anti-social tenants, as well as making the process quicker.
This comes as part of the commitment made by the government in 2019 to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions - the process by which landlords can bring Assured Shorthold Tenancies (‘ASTs’) to an end and require a tenant to vacate, without having to state a reason.
Upon receiving a Section 21 notice, tenants have just two months before their landlord can apply for a court order to evict them.
These changes will be introduced alongside a raft of further changes, including a reformed courts process, digitising many of the systems that support the sector and the creation of a new Ombudsman to provide quicker and resolutions to disputes.
Michael Tatters, Head of the Thrings Property Litigation team, said: “Renters and landlords alike will no doubt be interested in these reforms which have been in the pipeline for several years and will be keen to understand how these reforms could impact their respective situations.
“The Covid pandemic highlighted key concerns around the safety and security of tenants in their homes as the government took action to protect them, but with this having been only a temporary reaction, the calls for something more permanent was inevitable.
“These proposals may not, however, be universally welcomed, with some speculating that the rental market could shrink if landlords feel over-restricted by the reforms and are forced to exit. Seeking sound professional advice will help landlords to get a clearer picture of how this new law could impact their activities, with more robust contracts being a key way to protect your interests.”
The Thrings Property Litigation team is experienced in reaching resolution in property disputes, acting for both landlords and tenants, often without recourse to court proceedings, and with an excellent track record when cases do go to Court. Contact us for more information.