Fairer Privated Rented Sector White Paper
Posted on 17th June 2022 at 10:04
Having looked at the details of the proposals in the Fairer Privated Rented Sector White Paper issued yesterday and consulting with experts in the industry, we can confirm that we are ready and able to manage anything that affects properties and tenants under our management. Overall, not much of it was a shock as we were expecting most of it, so its just a case of managing changes, which is something as a landlord owned letting agency, we are happily able to do.
Here's a summary of the main points:
1) Ensure all PRS homes in the UK meet the Decent Homes Standard - we already implement the HHSRS checklists for all properties under management so this won't be an issue for our landlords
2) Local authority pilot schemes to bolster policing of bad landlords - great for the industry in our opinion as too many self managing landlords get away with major compliance issues due to very little oversight from the local authority
3) Removal of Section 21 'no fault' evictions. We've never evicted a tenant with no reason, so don't see this as an obstacle at this point
4) Introduction of more powers to evict with established and set reasons - as per 3
5) Rents increased only once a year and longer notice periods for the rent increase - we would never advise increasing more often than annually so not an issue and we always give two months notice as have always believed that is fair
6) Ombudsman for landlords - as agents we are members of the Property Redress Scheme and think it a great idea for landlords to be accountable as well
7) Reduce courts backlog for evictions through greater staffing and funding - great news!
8 ) Property portal for all UK rented homes with an official rogue landlord database - we realise there are privacy concerns over this, however as an agency, we know all our landlords would never be in a situation of being classed as a 'rogue landlord', so not really an issue
9) Agents and landlords prevented from refusing tenants on benefits without good reason - this has really been in place for some time. Our referencing process includes checking affordability, which is the most common reason for refusal to rent a property to a tenant
10) Right to have pets, but subject to a reasonability test - we don't believe this will affect HMOs as it would not be considered 'reasonable' to have a pet in a shared house. Single let tenants will be dealt with on a case by case basis as we know that great tenants with well looked after pets can actually be really great long term tenants for our landlords.
11) A 'renting passport' to be looked at as a way of transporting deposits from one property to another - the devil will be in the detail with this one!
12) This is the biggest change - no more ASTs with a fixed term. All tenancies will be periodic. Tenants will be able to give two months notice at any point in the tenancy and landlords only able to evict with a reason as per point 3 above. We will be looking at how this affects our tenant find service guarantee period, but we will wait for the actual legislation change before making any changes to the way we work
The reality is, much of the above simply enshrines the practices and policies we already follow on behalf of our amazing landlords and tenants!
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