Renters Reform Impacts for Bristol Landlords

The discussions on the Renters Reform have been going on for years, but it is finally here (well, sort of!). The bill had its “first reading” on the 18th of May and will be debated in its “second reading” soon. It will take a little time for the bill to get through the Westminster process and into law. Once it reaches Royal Assent (rubberstamped) there will be a phased approach to some elements of the bill.

Renters Reform and the impact to Bristol landlords in the Bristol rental market

So, what do we know about the Rental Reform proposals? 

Removal of Section 21s

As expected, the much-publicised removal of Section 21 (the so-called ‘no-fault eviction’) has been included. This means that a landlord can only bring a tenancy to an end if they have a valid ground for possession. Some of the reasons include:- 

No more fixed-term tenancies  

The end of fixed-term tenancies is another big change. This means landlords and tenants will enter a periodic (rolling) tenancy whereby a tenant can choose to give notice (a minimum of 2 months) at any point. Whereas the landlord will have limited powers to regain possession of their property.  

Whilst it does mean that a tenant could leave quickly, the demand in the market outweighs the supply, therefore we feel it’s unlikely to result in a spike of short-term tenancies, though there will be some. Part of a good Bristol Letting Agents job is to find you good quality tenants, that will look after the property as their own and stay longer-term (if that’s what the landlord is looking for) so this doesn’t change. 

Rent increases

Whilst serving rental increases is still possible, landlords will have to submit a form and serve this to the tenant. It’s then with the tenant to accept and pay the increased rent moving forward. Alternatively, if the tenant doesn’t feel it’s in line with market value they can raise a dispute which results in a “First-tier Tribunal.”  

Other headlines include:  

At this stage, the bill has not been passed by parliament and inevitably there will be some changes as it’s debated. The above is our interpretation of what is known so far, but the government have published some guidance on the reform which you can read through here

There is quite a bit to digest, and we’ll keep you informed on how it impacts Bristol’s landlords. We’ll be here to support our landlords with these changes. 

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