The Renters Reform Bill is currently being discussed in Parliament to make various amendments to rules between landlords and their tenants. Although the Act may not come into force for another 18-24 months landlords should consider the possible effects it could have.

One important proposal is to amend the current regulations affecting section 21 notices in relation to evictions –these are currently known as no-fault evictions. This means that a landlord can currently evict a tenant on two months’ notice without providing a reason.

The new bill looks to amend this by abolishing no-fault evictions ensuring that landlords will not be able to take proceedings against tenants without providing a substantive reason.

Some of the other major tenancy reforms are set out below:-

  1. Ground 1 – No prior notice is required where a landlord seeks to recover possession to enable occupation by themselves or their family
  2. New ground 1A allows landlords to sell the property subject to 6 months minimum notice period
  3. Ground 8A establishes a mandatory ground for possession where a tenant has been in arrears of at least 2 months’ rent for at least a day on three separate occasions in the previous 3 years.

Although there is a need for reform, some argue that the bill favours tenants over landlords. However, there are certainly some loopholes that the government will need to address. For example, landlords can remove tenants from their property if they have a valid reason such as moving a family member in but this could be used as an excuse to remove a tenant and the family member may only reside in the property for a short time, or even not at all.

Although the majority of the reform is good news for tenants, this could discourage landlords from renting out their properties which in turn may reduce the amount of properties available on the market to rent.  There is already a lack of available homes to rent in the current climate and some suggest that this reform may exacerbate this problem. Others argue that this is a step in the right direction for tenants.

If you are experiencing issues with your landlord or tenant(s) and would like some advice, please contact our Litigation team which specialises in property disputes.

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