Explaining the Renter’s reform Bill

There has been a good deal of speculation in the Lettings industry about what the anticipated Renter’s reform Bill White Paper will look like when it’s published.

The centrepiece of Government reform is the possible abolition of section 21 ‘no fault’ ground for possession. Most institutional landlords now offer three-year tenancies as an option for their tenants and it’s a conversation that we should be having with our landlords too. Ultimately, they are right to think that a long-staying customer is better for landlords, particularly if they have Rent and Legal Protection. (Better for us too if we are working on a Rent Collection of Fully Managed basis.)

We believe that the Bill will require:

The retention of fixed-term tenancies, for example in the student accommodation market, and to allow larger landlords to renovate and refurbish, which sometimes cannot be done with residents in situ.

Revised grounds for possession that reflect landlords do sometimes need to gain their property back, for personal reasons. For example, accumulated non-payment of rent, or to protect the interests of other residents against anti-social behaviour. In the absence of section 21, some grounds will need revision, as has been done in Scotland.

Investment in our Court system. Only digitalisation of court processes will be sufficient so that court documents and case progress can be tracked. We currently have a poor court service, that is under-resourced and inefficient. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a lottery for landlords in terms of the time it takes to access justice and this needs addressing.

Paul Sloan
Operations Director, KWUK