• The government has announced big planned changes to residential tenancies with the Renters Reform Bill. If the changes detailed in the bill are implemented, they could be considered as some of the biggest changes in residential lettings in over 30 years.

    It is important to note that the bill was introduced to parliament in May 2023 and the plans will need to pass through parliament before it can become law.

    The bill includes several big changes with the aim of making the rental system fairer for both landlords and tenants.

    What is included in the Renters Reform Bill?

    The bill will introduce a ban on all assured shorthold tenancies which will result in all tenancies becoming assured tenancies which provide greater protection. These tenancies can currently have a standard minimum term of around six to 12 months or even up to 7 years, however the bill would replace these agreements with a periodic tenancy of no longer than one month.

    The bill confirms plans to abolish Section 21 – a process that enables private landlords to repossess their properties. Instead, landlords will only be able to evict a tenant under reasonable circumstances. There are also plans to change the notice periods that tenants have to give, this could be increased to 2 months.

    There are proposed plans for tenants to have the legal right to have a pet in their home, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. It is likely that the tenant will be required to take out a special insurance policy to cover the risk of any damage to the property. Further changes include the introduction of a new ombudsman which will aim to resolve landlord and tenant disputes and a new database or property register to increase local authorities enforcement powers.

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    This content is correct at time of publication

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