Recapping our five watchouts for 2024
Widespread tenancy reforms, a high cost of borrowing, and rising rents are just a few of the challenges facing the rental sector in 2024.
The government’s Renters Reform Bill is likely to steal the headlines, but uncertainty remains. Add in the recent shelving of long-planned energy-efficiency changes, and it’s sure to be a tumultuous time for both property investors and renters.
The Bill still needs to complete the House of Commons stage, and then needs to progress through the House of Lords. With the added pressure of an upcoming General Election, it is unclear when the Bill will make it through Parliament.
Everyone in the PRS needs to be aware of the potential changes:
Scrapping Section 21 Notices
Agents and landlords will only be able to evict using a reason within the re-worked Section 8 grounds.
The intention is to give tenants more security and confidence to rent in the private rented sector.
All tenancies will also be periodic from the start and tenants will be able to give two months’ notice to leave a property at any time.
There was some concern regarding renting to students and there is going to be a ground for possession however we are still waiting for the detail.
Tenants to be given new protections
New rules will be introduced to regulate how often rents can be increased, and tenants will have the option to challenge excessive increases at a tribunal.
A new ombudsman will be introduced to settle disputes between landlords and tenants faster, without the need for court action.
No more blanket bans
Tenants will be allowed to keep a pet with their landlord’s permission, and consent is not to be unreasonably withheld; although they can insist that the tenant obtains pet insurance.
There will also be sanctions for landlords discriminating against prospective tenants due to having children or being in receipt of housing benefit.
Adherence to new standards
The government announced plans to apply a Decent Homes Standard to the rented sector.
Councils will have enforcement powers to ensure that those renting out property comply with the new standards, which will be set after a consultation and debated as the Renters Reform Bill passes through Parliament.
We previously blogged on the concerns whether councils have the ability to enforce the reforms without an increase in their resources. There is a worry that without a major increase in funding, local authorities will find it difficult to carry out the intended modifications of the Bill.
There are also plans to create a Privately Rented Property Portal to help landlords understand their legal obligations and demonstrate compliance.
This content was exclusively prepared in collaboration with The Lettings Hub by Cara Wiltshire from award-winning Woodstock Legal Services.
Woodstock Legal Services are specialists in legal advice and solutions for the Private Rental Sector.
Together with Woodstock Legal Services, you can trust The Lettings Hub to keep you informed about all of the changes affecting the Private Rental Sector. Follow us on LinkedIn to ensure you’re always up to date.