In the Queen's Speech (May 10), the government announced its Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, as well as a Renters Reform Bill. We’ve summarised the key takeaways for landlords and property investors in this post.
The government has introduced a Renters Reform Bill, which was included in the Conservative Party 2019 manifesto.
The bill will ban Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions while also strengthening landlords’ legitimate grounds for taking back their property
Landlords will be able to use grounds such as repeated incidents of rent arrears for repossession, and reduce notice periods for anti-social behaviour.
The bill also applies the Decent Homes Standard to the private rental sector for the first time to give all renters the legal right to a safe and warm home.
The Bill will also introduce a new property portal to help landlords understand their obligations.
The UK will introduce a new Ombudsman for private landlords for disputes to be handled outside of court.
Changes to the leasehold system were also announced. The Leasehold Reform Bill proposes to:
ban landlords from charging ground rent for new long residential leases from 30 June 2022
ban new leasehold houses being built so all new homes will be freehold
Under the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, local authorities will be given the power to double council tax on second homes.
It will also allow councils to apply a council tax premium of up to 100% on homes which have been empty for longer than one year (rather than two years at present).
The government says that this is designed to encourage more empty homes into productive use, while enabling councils to raise and retain additional revenue to support local services and keep council tax down for local residents.
"As we’ve seen recently in Wales, local councils in popular destinations are tightening loopholes around second homes and the criteria holiday lets must meet to access business rates. It’s more important than ever for Furnished Holiday let owners to keep accurate records of the dates their property is available to let and actually let to retain access to business rates."Client Manager, Chris Littlewood
Also under the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, the government stated the intention to reform the planning system to give residents more involvement in local development.
Local authorities will be given the power to force landlords to rent out empty commercial properties by instigating rental auctions of vacant commercial properties in town centres.
“These reforms have been on the cards for some time now, and this week the Government has finally confirmed their intentions. Over the last decade, we’ve seen increasing levels of professionalism in the rental market as a result of legislation and tax reform, with many casual and accidental investors now leaving the market. Whilst the burden of new regulation may not be welcome, we believe this presents an opportunity for professional and pragmatic investors who remain committed to the property market.”Provestor CEO, James Poyser
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The upcoming Renters' Reform Bill, as discussed by Housing Secretary Michael Gove, aims to fundamentally alter the relationship between landlords and tenants in the UK. The bill is designed to offer tenants enhanced protection against unpredictable rent increases and other issues. In this blog, we’ll explore exactly what the proposed reforms mean for landlords.