Renters Reform Bill – Top Priority For The Government

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  • Renters Reform Bill – Top Priority For The Government

The Renters Reform Bill has been a priority for the Government for some considerable time but no completed details have yet been announced.

The Government have confirmed that it is now a priority for them to push through. The Renters Reform Bill white paper is yet to make an appearance but it will be out shortly.

The last big piece of lettings legalisation to really shake up the industry was the tenants fee act in 2019. The repercussions of the ban in England and Wales are still felt three years on with debate around the influence on the industry and particular permitted payments.

Right to Rent.

There have been recent changes on the Right to Rent checks with the Government now rolling out their own scheme. If you weren’t aware of the changes you now have to get a share coded provided to you from the tenant so you can check they have the Right to Rent. There are various other subtle changes in this regard.

Biometrics residence cards or permits and workers permits are no longer allowed as proof for an applicant’s Right to Rent. A new identity validation technology will come into play when the temporary Covid adjusted checks come to an end.

The Government has also made more changes such as making tax digital this has moved a further step forward with all businesses now required to submit their VAT returns through the making tax digital process. The next step will be in 2023 and this will affect landlords most of all. With making tax digital for income tax also. You should contact you accountant in this regard.

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What will be introduced via the Renters Reform Bill?

There are still no confirmed details of what will be included within the Renters Reform Bill but we have had a few pointers such as follows;

Introducing life time deposits.

Life time deposits were original announced in 2019 as part of the Bill. Although this detail admitted from the Queens Speech in 2022. There is still a debate around how this concept would actually work. The deposits would follow tenant from property to property but how can this be implemented? It aims to help tenants free up cash to move, without the worry of an overlap between receiving an old deposit and paying out for a new one. If it is done right, landlords should receive insurance that their property will still be protected in the case of a deposit dispute. So it is a win win for both parties. Unfortunately, the details have still not yet been outlined within the white paper but we have no doubt this is coming.

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Creating a national landlord register.

The Queens Speech announced that a new property portal for landlords will be created. This is going to be similar to the landlord register. These are already in place in Scotland and Wales. A report by the centre of public data previously recommended using a national register in England, however, they state it would reduce the economy of scale. Which in effect should reduce costs for landlords. It will allow councils to focus on local enforcements. More details are too follow.

Personalising homes and keeping pets.

The Government have already outlined the pet clauses to be introduced into their standard tenancy agreement. This was done in early 2021. However, there is no requirement at this moment in time for landlords to compulsory have a pet at the property. This again will come within the Renters Reform Bill but how it will work with leasehold flats where there are covenants against this no-one knows.

Addressing energy efficiency in housing standards.

This is already contained within the MEES whereby you have to have a certain rating within your energy performance certificate. It is accepted that the Government are moving towards their rating of C by 2025 for all properties in England and Wales. Although most people believe it wont be required until 2028.

Updating material information requirements.

National trading standards have now outlined steps that we have to take to improve material information required on all property portals listings in England. This is to help tenants make a more informed decision about renting their property. By the end of May 2022 all agents and landlords need to include details listed out. These include the tenure (fore sales listings), council tax band and the price of the property or rent. This will be increased with further established different information although it has not yet been announced by the Government.

Abolishing the Section 21 whilst strengthening possession proceedings.

This is within the heart of the new Renters Reform Bill. It was proposed in 2019 to abolish the Section 21 notice. These are no fault evictions in England. Grounds for Section 8 will be strengthened, relating to arrears, to help support landlords that want to recover their property.

Applying a legally binding decent home standard.

These will set out standards that will be the first for the private rented sector, giving tenants safer, better quality and better value homes. However, some standards have already been outlined within previous bills but this will be much more of a legal standing of which landlords will have minimum requirements.

Creating a new ombudsman scheme.

A new ombudsman scheme for private landlords will help resolve disputes before reaching the courts. This will help ensure that landlords take actions to put things right even if a tenant complains. It has still not yet been decided whether your agent, which we are already part of the scheme, would be accepted or whether you would have to do this separately.

Introducing a property portal for landlords.

This property portal will function as a register to share property performance information with tenants. It will aid local authorise under enforcement. It will help landlords understand their obligations and what they are required to do to their properties.

Legislation on new regulation for social housing.

Draft legalisation shows that this will cover consumers standards, new tenant satisfaction measures and strong performance.

Setting up a new planning system and housing reform.

A new planning system will allow local residents to simplify and standardise the local planning process, making it easier for the local communities to influence.

It is also been committed to help more people own their own homes as part of their own dreams. This has been primary through the new leasehold reform act 2022. To ensure all new homes built are freeholder, with a ban on leasehold houses.

Reforming the UK’s data protection regime.

The Government will look to reform the UK’s data protection, with a bill to be published in the summer. Currently the UK follows general data protection regulations commonly known as GDPR.

We are sure that there will be additional requirements contained within the Governments white paper once it is published which we would anticipate will be later on this year. We will keep you advised.

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google-review Review
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
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