What could the Renters’ Reform Bill mean for the rental market?

  • News
  • What could the Renters’ Reform Bill mean for the rental market?

The Queen’s Speech dominated the headlines in May, when – during the traditional formal opening of a new session of Parliament. She announced a white paper outlining the government’s commitment to reform the private rented sector. Ensuring to ‘deliver a better deal for renters’.

Set to be published in the autumn, the white paper should flesh out the government’s plans for widespread rental reform, which has been much talked about since it first appeared in the Conservative Party’s December 2019 general election manifesto.

The major element of the proposed Renters’ Reform Bill is the removal of Section 21 eviction notices.

The Bill also includes proposals for a new ‘lifetime’ tenancy deposit model, as well as reform that would ensure landlords’ rights to regain possession of their property when it is fair and reasonable for them to do so.

The ceremonial event included proposals that amounted to some of the biggest changes in the private rented sector for over 30 years.

Below, we outline the key housing announcements and how this could impact landlords operating in the private rented sector.

Renters’ Reform Bill back on the agenda

The controversial Renters’ Reform Bill was not explicitly mentioned by name. The government had suggested in advance that the Bill will be the vehicle for reform.

The Bill is expected to abolish Section 21 eviction powers for landlords and agents, but to strengthen the Section 8 eviction process.

It will also introduce the concept of ‘lifetime deposits’, allowing deposit payments made in relation to one property to be converted to another; the aim of this is to speed up and reduce the cost of moving rental properties for tenants.

Reforms include ensuring all tenants have a right to redress, and ensuring well-targeted, effective enforcement that drives out criminal landlords, which could potentially involve requiring all private landlords to belong to a redress scheme.

The Bill is also expected to explore improvements and possible efficiencies to the possession process in the courts, to make it quicker and easier for both landlords and tenants to use.

Her Majesty also said ministers would establish a new Building Safety Regulator to ensure ‘the tragedies of the past are never repeated’. A reference to the Grenfell Tower disaster.

At this stage, it is unclear whether the government still intends to abolish Section 21. Or whether its reform of the sector will extend to other measures such as lifetime deposits and a landlord register.

Lifetime deposits to aid tenants

In the past year, tenants have seen rental costs increase by 10%. Averaging to £821 pcm, according to Halifax.

On top of rising rents, a common challenge facing renters is the size of the deposit. This is an average of £1,000, according to official figures. Ensuring this is paid before they receive their old deposit back from their previous landlord.

It is speculated that lifetime deposits – a transferable sum of money which follows tenants through their rental journey – will reduce the hurdles of moving home. Improving tenants’ financial circumstances.

While the government is yet to release any information on how lifetime deposits might work, potential issues have since been raised.

The first is what would happen if the previous landlord wanted to make reductions. Would the new landlord receive a lower deposit, or would the tenant be expected to top it up?

Additionally, Money.co.uk’s review of the lifetime deposit idea points out that not all moves between rental properties are seamless. Gaps and overlaps between contracts. Therefore, it needs to be made clear what happens to the deposit in these circumstances.

The launch of the white paper will shed some light on how lifetime deposits could be implemented effectively.

What do landlords need to do?

It is clear that rental sector reform is at the top of the agenda of the government. What that reform will look like and when it will happen remains uncertain.

Landlords will need to watch out for the launch of a government White Paper. Which could be followed by further consultations of the launch of a version of the Renters’ Reform Bill to Parliament.

With much to anticipate, it’s important for landlords to keep an eye on the news. Focusing on their existing compliance obligations.

Meanwhile, working with a proactive letting agent can help to ensure that your property is in the best hands. Also, you’re kept up to speed with rental sector changes at all times.

Here at Harringtons Lettings, we offer this and more, helping to advise you on any part of the lettings process for properties in Brighton and Hove. For more information on the services we provide, particularly under current Covid-19 restrictions, please get in touch with us today.

We also offer a free online lettings valuation. This gives you an estimate of how much you could be charging in rent each month.

See all News Posts
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 😊
See All Reviews
Get in Touch

Send a message to a member of our team and we'll be happy to answer your questions!

Send a Message

Register for Property Alerts

Let us know what you're looking for and we'll email you with matching properties when they become available.

Make an Enquiry

Please complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.