Letting agents think Renters (Reform) Bill is ‘unfair’ and propose changes

Letting agents have shared their views on the Renters (Reform) Bill, with recommendations to strengthen the legislation as it makes its way through Parliament. 

The aim of the Renters (Reform) Bill is to deliver on the UK government’s commitment to abolish ‘no fault’ evictions and reforming landlord possession grounds, as well as legislate for reforms set out in the ‘A fairer private rented sector’ White Paper that was published in June 2022. 

The Bill is currently at the Report Stage in the House of Commons before it should pass on for a Third Reading before going to the House of Lords.    

This research, carried out by Propertymark, forms part of a new report on reforming the Private Rented Sector (PRS). 

The unique insights highlighted in the report from the perspective of letting agents, including:

+ 73% of agents think that the Renters (Reform) Bill is unfair.  

+ Over 60% of agents believe that the removal of fixed term tenancies will impact tenants negatively. 

+ 70% of agents agreed that student lets should be exempt from the removal of fixed-term tenancies. 

+ Only around half (54%) of agents agree that the PRS Database will improve PRS standards (24 per cent disagreed). 

+ 90 of agents agreed that the following possession grounds should be made mandatory: breach of contract; repeated late payment of rent; securing a let on the basis of false information.   

Key recommendations based on Propertymark members’ feedback include:

+ The PRS Database and Property Portal should be expanded to include qualification, registration and regulation requirements for property agents. 

+ A tenant should be able to agree to a fixed term tenancy where it is mutually beneficial for both parties. 

+ Private landlords should be able to join one of the existing redress schemes for the private rented sector (Property Redress Scheme or The Property Ombudsman). The Bill should introduce a statutory code of practice for the sector to adjudicate against and set out a long-term plan for the introduction of a specialist housing court. 

+ If the portal is introduced, the requirement for local licensing schemes should be removed.

+ Inventories and check-in/check-out reports at the beginning and end of a tenancy should be added to the Bill to ensure deposits are returned speedily.   

The report’s findings are based on over 650 responses from a survey of a representative sample of Propertymark’s letting agent members in England.    

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “The clear view from Propertymark letting agent members highlights the importance of the need for policy makers to retain the option of fixed term tenancy where it is mutually beneficial to both parties, ensure new requirements for landlord redress complement the existing provisions that agents must adhere to, and the legislation is not a missed opportunity to regulate property agents and ensure landlords have confidence through new and strengthened grounds for possession.” 

 

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5 Comments

  1. MrManyUnits

    “ Inventories and check-in/check-out reports at the beginning and end of a tenancy should be added to the Bill to ensure deposits are returned speedily” how about proof of bills, c.tax water electric gas? Whilst not the Landlords responsibility many hours can be wasted.

    Report
  2. MrManyUnits

    Whilst I’m not the greatest fan of Propertymark this very relevant

    propertymark.co.uk/static/eda7da76-d0c4-4d90-8446fc4554baad25/Reforming-the-PRS-letting-agent-views-of-the-Renters-Reform-Bill.pdf

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  3. ringi

    As a landlord I would like redress schemes, registry and deposit protection to be a single system and the provider to be responsible for serving all start of tenancy notices on the tenants. The requirement to give tenants copy of safety checks should be removed if they are on a central register.

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  4. paul.bartlett33

    How can it not be relevant and equitable for both tenants and landlords to be registered with the property portal and their reputation recorded?
    Surely it’s in the interests of Agents to have clarity on who they are dealing with. Openness and Transparency.

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  5. JamesScollard

    Only + 70% of agents agreed that student lets should be exempt from the removal of fixed-term tenancies? The other 30% must not deal with student tenancies.
    This one policy will destroy the student market. Anyone that actually deals with students & student landlords, will know both parties will be extremely frustrated with periodic student tenancies. They should be changing the law for the better, not making it worse for everyone.

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